Effective Management Techniques for Peripheral Arterial Disease

How to Reduce Exercise Leg Pain from PAD – Cleveland Clinic

Peripheral arterial disease is a common disorder among older people. It occurs due to the hardening and narrowing of your arterial walls, preventing smooth blood flow. If not treated early, it can cause life-threatening complications like stroke and heart attack. If you are looking for an effective treatment for PAD, your Davenport peripheral arterial disease specialist at Vein & Cardiovascular Center has the perfect solution for you.

What is peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a fatal circulatory disease that occurs due to the blockage of the peripheral arteries. This disease is usually common in individuals above 40 years. Peripheral arterial disease results from atherosclerosis, the accumulation of fatty deposits and cholesterol on your artery walls. The fatty deposits accumulate gradually, making your arteries more narrow and harder. This build-up slows down your blood flow, limiting the oxygen supply in your body. The exact cause of atherosclerosis is still unknown, but the condition can develop due to factors such as:

  • Injuries to your legs or arms
  • Inflammation of your blood vessels
  • Radiation exposure

How can you know if you have peripheral arterial disease?

PAD may cause mild or no symptoms, which makes it difficult to detect. The most common symptom is leg pain when taking a walk (claudication). In addition to leg pain, you may experience muscle cramping that resolves with rest. The intensity of claudication may vary from mild to incapacitating pain, making it difficult to engage in physical activities. PAD causes symptoms like:

  • Leg weakness or numbness
  • A heavy feeling in your legs
  • Shiny legs due to slow growth of hair
  • Pain leg cramping
  • Wounds that take long to heal
  • Coldness in your feet compared to other parts of your body
  • Weak pulse in your feet
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or cramping in your arms when writing or knitting

If PAD is left untreated, it can progress and cause pain and cramping even when seated or lying down. In some cases, the pain may be severe enough to interfere with your sleep. Eventually, peripheral artery disease can result in gangrene that may prompt amputation.

Factors that can increase your chances of getting the peripheral arterial disease

Several factors may heighten your chances of developing PAD, including:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Old age
  • Obesity (BMI of over 30)
  • High blood pressure
  • Sedentary lifestyle

You can reduce your chances of developing PAD, stroke, and heart attack by making a few lifestyle adjustments.

What are the management techniques for PAD?

Dr. Pal performs a thorough physical exam and analyses your symptoms to rule out PAD during your appointment. He may also ask about your medical and family history to get more details about your health. He may use tests like cardiopulmonary exercise, CT scans, MRI, ankle-brachial index, and ultrasound. After diagnosis, the Vein & Cardiovascular Center team recommends the most effective treatment plan to promote healthy blood circulation. They may recommend atherectomy or angioplasty to unblock your arteries.

For more information about peripheral arterial disease, call Dr. Pal or book your spot online.