Claudication walking training

What is Claudication Intermittens?

Claudication intermittens is a systemic disease. It refers to pain in the legs due to narrowing or blockage of an artery in the legs. A more commonly used term is intermittent claudication or “window shopping legs.” The term “window shopping legs” comes from the fact that people with this condition often stop and rest while walking due to pain in one leg. They may stop near a shop window to conceal the fact that something is wrong.


How does intermittent claudication occur?

Arterial sclerosis (atherosclerosis) can cause narrowing or blockages in the arteries. The narrowing restricts blood flow, especially during physical exertion. When there’s a lack of oxygen, muscles produce acidic waste products, leading to painful cramps. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes mellitus, inactivity, and cardiovascular issues.


Symptoms of intermittent claudication:

The primary symptom of intermittent claudication is pain while walking, which is the hallmark of the condition. Other symptoms resulting from arterial narrowing may include cold feet, absence of subcutaneous fat layer, loss of hair on feet and toes, dry, flaky skin, thickened toenails/fungal nails (often with a fungal infection), and slowed nail growth.


Walking training for intermittent claudication:

Walking training for patients with intermittent claudication aims to improve pain-free and maximum walking distance. It stimulates blood flow in the smaller blood vessels, reducing leg discomfort. Regularity is crucial for the effectiveness of the training.


Guided walking training is provided by a specialized physiotherapist, tailored to your individual level. In addition to walking, the program includes lifestyle advice, monitoring of walking posture, and general conditioning exercises.



Amanda Waltmann and Corine Nelen, our specialized claudication physiotherapists, are affiliated with the Chronic Care Network. This is a nationally accredited network for specialized claudication physiotherapists where continuous education is mandatory. All vascular surgeons in the Netherlands collaborate with this Chronic Care Network. The treatment follows the guidelines of the ClaudicatioNet.


Amanda Waltmann


Corine Nelen

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