Sport and exercise scientists at Sheffield Hallam University have started a new three year study into the treatment of a condition which can cause painful leg ulcers.
Chronic venous insufficiency means veins in the legs cannot pump enough blood back to the heart.
It can cause pain, social isolation, inability to move, reduced quality of life, and is costly to treat.
The Hallam team is examining the use of exercise in treating the condition and their study will initially involve 80 patients.
Team leader Dr Markos Klonizakis said: “Venous ulcers are often treated with compression therapy - while this works very well, ulcers frequently come back, and the only alternative is surgery. We therefore need to find other ways to treat the problem.
“Supervised exercise training may complement compression therapy in the prevention and treatment of venous ulcers. Exercise is a low-cost, low-risk, and effective strategy for improving physical and mental health.
“However little is currently known about the practicality and usefulness of supervised exercise training used in combination with compression.”
The project will run until May 2017.