Tingling in Legs: What This Symptom of PAD Means
Have you noticed a tingling sensation in the legs when you’re walking, climbing stairs, or physically exerting yourself? This feeling may be an indicator of a serious health concern called peripheral artery disease (PAD). Restricted airflow can cause pain or tingling in the legs, which is a common symptom of PAD.
PAD can develop when plaque builds up in the arteries of the legs, limiting blood flow to the extremities. As the plaque accumulates, it leads to a narrower opening for blood and oxygen to pass through. They can become completely blocked, allowing no blood and oxygen to get through to the muscles in the legs, which can cause the tingling sensation.
PAD can be an indication of atherosclerosis in other areas of the body, which is a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. If the condition becomes severe enough, it can even cause tingling in the legs at night, and not just when the person is active.
At USA Vascular Centers, our team of vascular doctors are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating this disease. If you are experiencing tingling in the feet and legs, reach out to your nearest USA Vascular Centers location to schedule an exam.
What Causes Tingling in the Legs and Feet?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is one potential cause of tingling in the legs and feet. This is because as plaque builds up in your arteries, it narrows them, cutting off the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients needed for your legs and feet to work properly. Other possible causes of tingling in feet and legs may include nerve injury, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, restless leg syndrome, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or seizures.
If you are experiencing tingling sensations in your feet or legs, no matter what the cause, it is highly recommended to seek a diagnosis and treatment. Leg tingling caused by PAD may be accompanied by cramping in the legs, slowed toenail growth, patchy leg hair, and open sores on the feet and legs.
If left untreated, PAD can worsen over time. The more plaque you have in your arteries, the easier it is for new plaque to accumulate. Enough plaque buildup can cause a complete blockage, cutting blood flow off from your legs or feet.
When Should I See a Vascular Doctor for Tingling in My Legs?
If you’re experiencing persistent tingling in the legs, you should get screened by a vascular specialist. They can help rule out conditions such as sciatica and restless leg syndrome. Visit one of our knowledgeable vascular doctors from the start. No referral is needed.
Our vascular doctors can perform a minimally invasive ankle-brachial index test to determine whether you have PAD. If you do have PAD, your vascular doctor can perform further diagnostic testing to determine the location and severity of the blockage, or blockages, in your feet and legs. This helps your doctor determine the best course of treatment to treat the tingling in your legs and feet.
Additionally, it’s important to consider whether you have any of the risk factors for PAD, along with the tingling in your legs. Your risk of PAD increases with age, and we recommend that all people over the age of 50 be screened for PAD. Smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of cardiovascular disease are all risk factors for PAD, too.
If you’re experiencing tingling in the legs at night or during the day and you have one or more risk factors, give the team at USA Vascular Centers a call. We can help you quickly find out if PAD is the reason for the tingling in your legs.
How to Treat Leg Tingling Caused by PAD
An accurate diagnosis can determine whether your leg tingling is a symptom of PAD. You can then begin to make lifestyle changes, which can help you become healthier and may reduce the tingling. This includes the following:
- Quitting smoking
- Losing excess weight
- Wearing shoes that fit properly
- Reducing cholesterol
- Getting more exercise
- Controlling high blood pressure
You can also consult with a vascular specialist to see if medication may reduce your symptoms of PAD, including tingling in the legs. However, these steps alone aren’t enough. It’s important to seek treatment to address PAD and how it is impacting your life. Minimally invasive treatments can help provide relief for tingling or numbness of the legs. Local sedation is used, which means no general anesthesia and no stitches.
At USA Vascular Centers, we offer the following minimally invasive treatments:
- Atherectomy uses a catheter to remove plaque from arteries that have become too narrow or blocked to improve your blood flow getting nutrients back to your lower extremities.
- Stent Placement puts a stent, a small mesh tube designed to expand inside a diseased artery to hold it open and im prove your blood flow.
- Angioplasty uses a balloon or stent to widen or open blocked arteries in the legs and treat plaque buildup and help get oxygen and blood flowing properly.
These treatments can provide relief to patients struggling with PAD symptoms, including tingling of the legs. The vascular specialists at USA Vascular Centers will work with you to determine which treatment option is the best for your diagnosis.
Schedule a Consultation With USA Vascular Centers Today
If you are experiencing leg tingling and are worried PAD could be a possible cause, contact USA Vascular Centers for a consultation to learn more about our non-surgical treatments and how they can help reduce symptoms of PAD. You can call at 888.773.2193 or schedule online.