External Counterpulsation Therapy is known to be an effective treatment to rehabilitate cardiovascular health in patients with advanced Coronary Artery Disease & Heart Failure. ECP and EECP Therapy is documented in several hundred Clinical Studies to improve exercise tolerance, reduce symptoms of Angina and restore oxygenated blood flow to the body.
The benefits of ECP Therapy can measured with a variety of tools. Once of which is call the 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT). The six minute walk is a test used to measure exercise tolerance in chronic respiratory disease, heart failure & other disabling conditions. The test has since been used as a performance-based measure of functional exercise capacity in other populations including healthy older adults, people undergoing orthopedic procedures and / or cardiac revascularization procedures.
The six-minute walk test measures the distance that one is capable of walking during a six minutes period. The test should be administered on a smooth flat surface. The target is to walk as far as possible in six minutes. The individual is allowed set a comfortable pace and rest if necessary during the test.
The 6 Minute Walk was developed in 1963 to evaluate functional capacity. The 6 minute walk is given due to its ease of administration compared to other forms of testing to assess exercise tolerance. Other variations of the test showed that timed walks under 4 minutes were not as sensitive to evaluate the differences in exercise tolerance & duration.
A standard protocol should be followed with the 6 Minute Walk test. This is important so the test results and reproducibility are consistent for managing patients with low exercise tolerance. The test should be administered by a training technician and performed multiple times on each patient.
Although there are several diagnostic tools available to assess the benefits of ECP and EECP Therapy, the 6 Minute Walk Test is one that is simple & cost effective. Patient that complete a full 35 day session of External Counterpulsation Therapy has more than 83% chance of seeing an increase in exercise tolerance & endurance.