Exercise strengthens calf muscles and improves ankle range of motion, but impact on QOL unclear
WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Further research is needed to understand the role of physical therapy in healing and quality of life (QOL) in patients with venous leg ulcers (VLUs), according to a systematic review published in the March issue of JAMA Dermatology.
Elizabeth Yim, M.P.H., from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the effect of physical therapy on healing and QOL outcomes in patients with VLUs. Data were included from 10 articles, consisting of randomized clinical trials and single-arm cohort studies with small sample sizes.
The researchers found that there was evidence that exercise strengthens the calf muscle pump and improves ankle range of motion. However, few studies examined the effect of these interventions on healing and QOL. Few studies involved supervision of a physical therapist.
“The lack of evidence and randomized clinical trials suggests the need for further investigation on physical therapy-oriented exercise on wound healing and QOL,” the authors write. “In addition, more studies are needed to investigate sustainability of the increased ankle range of motion after physical therapy has ended or if VLU reoccurrences are prevented.”
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