Could your leg pain be caused by Peripheral Arterial Disease?

Claudication, leg or hip pain during exercise that stops when resting, is the most common symptom of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), but many people dismiss it as a normal part of aging. PAD is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the arms or legs become narrowed or clogged with plaque. When you develop PAD, your limbs don’t receive enough blood, which causes pain upon walking or exertion. PAD is not a normal part of aging. In fact, it may signal a more widespread condition where blood flow to your brain or heart is also reduced, which puts you at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Symptoms of PAD

Symptoms of PAD often begin very slowly and progress over time. Here are the most common symptoms to be aware of:

  • Leg or hip pain during exercise that stops when resting
  • Numbness or tingling in legs or feet
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
  • Sore on the leg or foot which doesn’t heal
  • Cold legs or feet, especially when compared to the other side
  • Color change in skin of legs or feet
  • Loss of hair, or slower growth of hair on legs
  • Slower growth of toenails
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

Screening for Peripheral Arterial Disease

Although leg pain is a common symptom of PAD, two-thirds of people show no symptoms at all. Screening for this condition is important and could allow doctors to diagnose it earlier, making it more treatable. PAD is most common in men and women over 50, but it could happen to anyone.

Leg pain could be caused by many different diseases and conditions. However, you may want to be screened for PAD if you:

  • Are a man or a woman over age 50
  • Have a family history of vascular disease including PAD, aneurysm, heart attack or stroke
  • Have high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or other vascular disease
  • Currently smoke or previously smoked
  • Have an inactive lifestyle
  • Have pain in your legs when walking, which is relieved when resting
  • Have pain in the legs or feet that wakes you up at night

Screening and Treatment for PAD at AAR

The interventional radiologists at AAR are experienced in diagnosing and treating peripheral arterial disease. Schedule a consultation with an interventional radiologist to learn if you have PAD and what you can do to treat it.

2017-07-19T17:11:51+00:00 June 30th, 2015|Uncategorized|