Buerger-Allen exercises

Buerger-Allen exercises

 [ber´ger al´en]
specific exercises intended to improve circulation to the feet and legs. The lower extremities are elevated to a 45 to 90 degree angle and supported in this position until the skin blanches (appears dead white). The feet and legs are then lowered below the level of the rest of the body until redness appears (care should be taken that there is no pressure against the back of the knees); finally, the legs are placed flat on the bed for a few minutes. The length of time for each position varies with the patient's tolerance and the speed with which color change occurs. Usually the exercises are prescribed so that the legs are elevated for 2 to 3 minutes, down 5 to 10 minutes, and then flat on the bed for 10 minutes.
Buerger-Allen exercises. 1, Elevate feet on padded chair or board for 1/2 to 3 minutes. 2, Sit in relaxed position while each foot is flexed and extended then pronated and supinated for 3 minutes. The feet should become entirely pink. If the feet are blue or painful, elevate them and relax as necessary. 3, Lie quietly for 5 minutes, keeping legs warm with a blanket. From Black and Matassarin-Jacobs, 1997.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Leo, Austrian-U.S. physician, 1879-1943.
Buerger disease - inflammation of the entire wall and connective tissue surrounding medium-sized arteries and veins, associated with thrombotic occlusion and commonly resulting in gangrene. Synonym(s): thromboangiitis obliterans; Winiwarter-Buerger disease
Buerger exercises - exercises specifically for patients with arterial insufficiency of their lower limbs. Synonym(s): Buerger-Allen exercises
Buerger-Allen exercises - Synonym(s): Buerger exercises
Winiwarter-Buerger disease - Synonym(s): Buerger disease


Arthur W., U.S. surgeon, 1887-1958.
Buerger-Allen exercises - see under Buerger
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