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Lack of Evidence for Effect of PT on Venous Leg Ulcer Healing

Few studies examine impact of exercise, physical therapy interventions on healing, quality of life

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Further research is needed to examine the effect of physical therapy or exercise on healing and quality of life in patients venous leg ulcers (VLUs), according to research published online Dec. 17 in 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 quality of life outcomes in patients with VLUs.

The researchers identified 10 studies which were randomized clinical trials and single-arm cohort studies with small sample sizes and employed physical therapy or exercise for patients with open or healed VLUs. Few studies examined the impact of these interventions on healing and quality of life, although evidence indicated that exercise strengthened the calf muscle pump and improved ankle range of motion. Few studies involved physical therapist supervision.

"The lack of evidence and randomized clinical trials suggests the need for further investigation on physical therapy-oriented exercise on wound healing and quality of life," the authors write.

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