Laughter is the best treatment for leg ulcers, according to a study by Leeds University.

Many hospitals use low-ultrasound to treat leg ulcers but a recent survey shows that a good ‘hearthy chuckle’ is the best medicine to fight the sores.

The study on leg ulcers carried out by the university included 337 patients over a five-year period, and the results showed that thanks to the forces of laughter the diaphragm moved, which in turn increased the circulation of the blood around the body, ultimately speeding up the healing process of the ulcer.

Getting a laugh in Ireland

The research, published by the British Medical Journal, said: ‘Forget technology. The best prescription for patients with venous leg ulcers is good quality nursing care and the occasional belly laugh!’

Lead researcher Professor Andrea Nelson explained: ‘The key to care with this group of patients is to stimulate blood flow back up the legs to the heart.

“The best way to do that is with compression bandages and support stockings not ‘magic wands’ – coupled with advice on diet and exercise.

“Believe it or not, having a really hearty chuckle can help too. This is because laughing gets the diaphragm moving and this plays a vital part in moving blood around the body.”

About 500,000 people in the UK suffer from leg ulcers.