A preliminary British Journal of Dermatology study suggests that ulcers in the legs may heal faster with exercise.
In the study of 39 patients with venous leg ulcers who were randomized to compression therapy plus supervised exercise (including aerobic, resistance and flexibility elements) or compression therapy only, ulcer healing time was lower in the exercise group (13 versus 35 weeks).
"Although this is a feasibility study and we can't draw any final conclusions from it, our findings suggest that people with ulcers not only enjoy taking part in a supervised exercise scheme, staying in the programme until the end, but may also draw multiple benefits from it, offering reduction in treatment costs as well," said chief investigator and lead author Dr. Markos Klonizakis, of Sheffield Hallam University, in the UK. "Having proven that such a programme is workable for everyone involved, we will now seek funding to test the main study hypothesis in seven regions across England."
This paper presents independent research funded by the NIHR under its Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme (Grant Reference Number PB-PG-0213-30029). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.