buerger-allen exercises

Specialties Med-Surg


Does anyone know of a site where I can download how to do buerger-allen exercises - as a patient teaching tool. :coollook:

I found this by googling--here's the URL: http://www.apta.org/education/Continuing_Education/onLine_ceu_List/Neuro_Plantar/intervention_pg9

The physical therapist considers the use of postural exercises, such as Buerger-Allen exercises, to enhance circulation of the feet and help provide a better healing environment for Mr C's foot ulcer. As described by Bottomley,5 Buerger-Allen exercises are begun with the patient in the supine position on a bed. The patient raises the lower extremities to a 45-degree angle for a maximum of 3 minutes or until blanching occurs; pumps and circles the feet and performs isometric contractions of the quadriceps femoris and gluteus muscles for 1 minute or more in the elevated position; and, once blanching occurs again, returns the leg to the horizontal position for 3 minutes, pumping and circling the feet for 1 minute. Then, once the feet become a warm, rosy color, the patient sits up, hangs the legs over the side of the bed, and actively plantar flexes, dorsiflexes, and circles the feet, maintaining that position for 3 minutes or until rubor is observed. The patient then returns to the supine position with the lower extremities "flat" for another 3 minutes and performs an active muscle contraction for 1 minute in this position.

Thanks for your post--I never heard of this before!


30 Posts

thank you so much. i had tried a search but didn't find this! :rolleyes:

thanks for your post--i never heard of this before!

these exercises are often used in pvd :)

Specializes in geriatrics.

I also want to thank you for posting this. I was just assigned to teach the Buerger-Allen exercises to my classmates tomorrow!


138 Posts

Specializes in OB/peds (after gen surgery for 3 yrs).

This IS very interesting. My mom sees a vascular surgeon, is diabetic and has PVD, and I'm going to see what he has to say about this! It sounds easy enough to teach her (mid-70s with some memory deficits!) Thanks!


979 Posts

I know this is an old thread, but the link provided didn't do it, here's some info I found online:

Buerger-Allen Exercises

- Life flat - legs up for 2 min. or until blanching

- Place legs in dependent position, until cyanotic/red

- Lie on horizontal position for 1 min.

- Repeat exercise 4x - 3x daily

From here (it's in the middle of a PPT):

http://www.instruction.greenriver.edu/epalmer/Unit%205.1%202004.ppt#262,50,Buerger-Allen Exercises

Oops, didn't see Chris' quote, that's very good. Will ask my PT cousin if he has more.


1 Post

More than twenty yeras ago I obtained a copy of a pampflet titled Buerger's Exercises for Venous Insufficency or something likke that from the "Ask the Doctor" Section of a local Chicago Newspaper. It had many more exercise moves than those described in the write uo provided with illustrations. These were ment to be performed by the patient alone in bed before arising and retiring. I lost the pampflet many years ago and have lokked for it in vain for more than a decade on the internet. I now have a research librarian working on the problem at our local library. I will most any new links that materialize.

sunflowerross, LPN

1 Article; 49 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Orthopedics/CDU/LTC/SNF.

i searched buerger-allen exercises studying for the nclex--first thing that popped up was this link--haha! gawd, i love this site!! allnurses.com--rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bow:

and--yes, this site does make you a better nurse--nurses are always learning--a site that you can come to for all different kinds of reasons/information is such a great tool. the day a nurse can't learn anymore, is the day you shouldn't be one! that's what my nursing instructor told me--yup!

thanx allnurses!!!

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