The principal objectives in the treatment of obliterative arterial diseases are the relief of pain and the reestablishment of an adequate collateral circulation in the extremity. The active vascular exercises advocated by Buerger,1 later modified by Allen,2 as well as all forms of chemotherapy, physical therapy and surgery, contribute greatly to the patient's comfort. These measures, however, fail to bring about a complete or even an adequate restoration of the circulation in the majority of patients, especially in those suffering from extensive organic disease of the peripheral arteries.
It has long been known that the circulation of a part could be enhanced greatly by decreasing the environmental pressure, thereby decreasing the peripheral resistance to the flow of blood through the part. This principle was first utilized clinically by James Murray,3 in 1812. Many reports concerning this method of treating acute and chronic inflammatory processes appeared during the
HERRMANN LG, REID MR. PASSIVE VASCULAR EXERCISES: TREATMENT OF PERIPHERAL OBLITERATIVE ARTERIAL DISEASES BY RHYTHMIC ALTERNATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PRESSURE. Arch Surg. 1934;29(5):697–704. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01180050002001
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