A six-month exercise training program designed to increase leg strength, leg flexibility and overall fitness may improve post-thrombotic syndrome, a frequent, chronic complication of deep vein thrombosis, suggests a new study.
Chronic post-thrombotic syndrome develops in up to one half of patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These patients can experience leg pain, heaviness, swelling, water retention, hyperpigmentation and varicose veins and leg ulcers.
"Given that effective treatments are lacking, new approaches to managing post-thrombotic syndrome are needed," wrote Dr. Susan Kahn, Professor of Medicine at McGill University.
"We performed a pilot trial to obtain data on the effectiveness of exercise training to treat post-thrombotic syndrome and to assess the feasibility of performing a multicentre study to address this question," Dr. Susan wrote.
Of 95 patients with post-thrombotic syndrome, 69 were eligible, 43 consented and were randomized, and 39 completed the study.
The authors conclude that exercise training may improve post-thrombotic syndrome and should be evaluated as a treatment in further clinical trials.
The study has been published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).