The space pants and pump are two items being used in a clinical trial led by a Purdue University researcher who is exploring the use of non-surgical and in-home options to help people such as Scott manage peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Bruno Roseguini, an assistant professor in Purdue’s Department of Health and Kinesiology, is studying whether leg heat therapy is beneficial for patients suffering from PAD. Roseguini also researches the use of heat therapy in athletic recovery. His findings indicate that leg heat therapy increases blood flow and accelerates recovery following muscle injury in young individuals. He is now testing that in older adults.
Roseguini’s study participants use water-circulating trousers – a special pair of tight-fitting pants that look like a wetsuit but with water tubes – that are used by astronauts to regulate their body temperature while in space. Participants put the pants on and then hook up the tubes to a small pump that sends warm water around the lower limbs.
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