Understanding Leg Pain - Peripheral Vascular Associates
Understanding Leg Pain - Peripheral Vascular Associates

Understanding Leg Pain


Do You Have Poor Circulation In Your Feet? 

Why Is This Dangerous?

Leg pain often times goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as people dismiss it as a sign of aging.  However, leg pain resulting from peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.), or poor circulation in legs, can lead to serious medical conditions if not diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

What is Peripheral Artery Disease or P.A.D.?

P.A.D. is a critical, yet treatable, condition that cause blockages in the narrow passageways of the arteries preventing normal blood flow, especially to the extremities. This restriction of blood flow, over time, can lead to blood clots increasing your risk of amputation.

How do you know if you have P.A.D.?

Have you had to limit your lifestyle or daily activities due to leg or foot pain?  If the answer is yes, then it is important that you seek medical attention about your leg pain.  Here are other signs and symptoms that your leg pain maybe related to the circulation, or lack of, in your legs or feet.

  • Leg pain while walking that goes away with rest
  • Sores on the feet or toes that won’t heal
  • Ankle swelling, tightness in calves, or tired or heavy feelings in the legs
  • Loss of feeling or burning in hands or feet
  • Arm or hand pain, numbness, or tingling that may worsen when working with the arms
  • Coldness or discoloration in hands or feet.

It is important to note that poor blood flow does not always directly cause symptoms, but it can lead to uncomfortable leg pain while walking. This is one of the key indicators that you are experiencing vascular-related symptoms associated with P.A.D.

Although leg pain is usually a common concern, there may be other areas where you feel pain when you walk that could be related to P.A.D.  Pain or aching in the calves, hip or buttocks while walking may indicate claudication. Claudication is pain or cramping in the lower leg due to inadequate blood flow to the muscles.

If you notice further pain in the feet or toes, especially at night, then take note of this concern or symptom as well. Pain in the feet or toes related to P.A.D. is often persistent but then subsides with rest.

Here’s an example of what you might experience.  Throughout the day, you may experience somewhat intense pain in your legs while walking around the grocery store or running errands. You may try to relieve the pain with home remedies or over the counter medication. However, at nighttime, when you are resting, the pain subsides and you dismiss the pain as “nothing serious”.

The problem with this situation is that your ‘silent’ symptoms should not be ignored. Talk to your doctor about these concerns and individual risk factors (aging, abnormal cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, family history, etc.) to prevent limb loss or even death.

At PVA, we provide a place where patients get thorough evaluation and expert treatment for P.A.D. Prevention of limb loss requires a team effort including testing, medical treatment, surgical procedures and life style adjustments. P.A.D. presents complicated, lifelong issues, and we want to be your lifelong partner in your care.

To learn more about Peripheral Artery Disease or PVA give us a call at (210) 237-4444 or visit www.PVAsatx.com.

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