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Peripheral Arterial Disease

by in Physical Therapy and Rehab, Podiatry, Wellness April 8, 2013

Your leg and foot pain may NOT be just a part of normal aging!

Many people live with foot and leg pain that they believe to be just a normal part of aging. However, it could be early symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease or (PAD). PAD is a condition where a person has reduced blood flow to their legs and feet. This is caused when fatty tissue and plaque, builds up inside the arterial walls, thus narrowing and restricting blood flow. Early stages may present with symptoms of cramping or pain in the legs or feet after walking or exercise that goes away with rest. Other symptoms include: tired feeling or heaviness in legs, coldness in feet, legs or toes, and pain in legs and feet at night or when at rest. Patients who have Diabetes, a history of smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at increased risk of having PAD.

If left untreated, PAD can lead to critical limb ischemia or even amputation. Although due to recent developments in the medical field, companies such as American Endovascular are trying to reduce the amount of people requiring amputations by offering non-surgical treatments to try and save their limbs. If you believe you have some of the symptoms of PAD, then it’s probably best to contact medical help as soon as possible. The disease is diagnosed through an ABI test that can be done in an office in 20 to 30 minutes. This test is not painful and is similar to a blood pressure test that compares the blood flow in your legs and arms. If treated early, lifestyle changes and medication are often times enough to control this disease. In advanced stages, referral to a vascular surgeon may be warranted. Early detection is key, so if you have any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with our Podiatrist for a consultation.

If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, take a personal assessment to find out if you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease.

-Written by Dr. Bradley Gipson, DPM