Leg Pain and Aching: Peripheral Artery Disease Could Be the Cause
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common, yet serious, health condition. PAD can cause a range of symptoms, including leg pain, cramping, weakness, and fatigue. It is also a progressive disease: when left untreated, it can place you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation.
PAD leg pain presents differently for everyone. Some patients report aching or sore legs, while others suffer from lower leg pain or throbbing pain in their legs. We want you to be aware that the most common PAD symptom is claudication: muscle pain or weakness that begins with physical activity, such as walking, and stops within minutes after resting.
However, PAD can also cause aching legs at night, which can indicate that the disease has progressed to a more severe condition.
To accurately determine the underlying cause of your leg pain, we recommend visiting your doctor or a vascular specialist. At USA Vascular Centers, we specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care of peripheral artery disease.
How Does PAD Cause Leg Pain?
Peripheral artery disease can develop when plaque builds up in the arteries that lead to your legs. This type of plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis, causes the arteries to narrow or, in severe cases, become completely blocked.
As a result, your legs and feet receive an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen. Insufficient blood flow to the legs can lead to life-altering symptoms like leg pain and cramping, non-healing wounds that leave you susceptible to infection, and erectile dysfunction.
It is important to understand that lifestyle factors such as obesity, inactivity, poor diet, and smoking can contribute to the development and progression of PAD. Fortunately, our experts can help identify your risk factors and guide you toward better vascular health.
We want you to know that PAD treatment is available that can help alleviate symptoms and reduce your risk of developing dangerous complications. Your vascular doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications, prescribe medications, or recommend a medical procedure to improve your quality of life.
Diagnosing Peripheral Artery Disease
If you suffer from leg pain, we recommend contacting your doctor or a vascular specialist for a full medical evaluation. They can order medical tests to accurately determine whether your leg pain is caused by PAD or a different health condition.
Most commonly, peripheral artery disease is diagnosed with an Ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI is a minimally invasive test that takes only a few minutes to perform. During the test, your medical professional uses a regular blood pressure cuff and a specialized ultrasound device to compare the blood pressure in your ankle with that of your arm. The difference between the two, if any, can indicate whether enough blood is reaching your legs.
How To Treat Pain and Aching in the Legs Caused by PAD
The good news is that leg pain caused by PAD can be treated. At USA Vascular Centers, we offer a range of minimally invasive, outpatient PAD treatments that include angioplasty, stent placement, and atherectomy. We can also help identify beneficial lifestyle changes and prescribe medications intended to encourage blood flow to your legs.
Our primary treatment goals are to alleviate painful symptoms, reduce your risks of heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation, and improve your quality of life. For the best health outcomes, we believe in developing a personalized treatment plan for each of our patients.
When you visit USA Vascular Centers, you will soon discover that our leading doctors are experienced, highly skilled, and compassionate.
Schedule a Consultation With USA Vascular Today
There is no need to suffer from sore legs due to PAD any longer. Our vascular specialists are available to help alleviate your leg pain and other PAD symptoms. We believe that vascular treatment can help you regain mobility and return to normal daily activities.
To get started on your path to recovery, simply give us a call at 888.773.2193 or schedule an initial consultation online. You can choose to visit us at one of more than 40 treatment centers or make a virtual appointment. Wherever we meet, you can soon look forward to better vascular health.