The most common symptom of peripheral vascular disease in the legs is pain in one or both calves, thighs, or hips. This pain is called intermittent (comes and goes) claudication. It usually is a dull, cramping pain. It may also feel like a heaviness, tightness, or tiredness in the muscles of the legs.
Moreover, what does claudication pain feel like?
Claudication is pain and/or cramping in the lower leg due to inadequate blood flow to the muscles. The pain usually causes the person to limp. The word "claudication" comes from the Latin "claudicare" meaning to limp. Claudication typically is felt while walking, and subsides with rest.
Peripheral artery disease symptoms include:
- Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs (claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness.
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side.
At other times, especially when the artery is blocked by 70% or more, the buildup of arterial plaque may cause symptoms that include:
- Chest pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Heart palpitations.
- Weakness or dizziness.
There's no cure for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), but lifestyle changes and medication can help reduce the symptoms. These treatments can also help reduce your risk of developing other types of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as: coronary heart disease. stroke.
Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. P.A.D. usually affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, affects 8 million Americans—and many don't know they have it. But PAD is a very serious condition that has also been linked to heart attack and stroke if it's not treated. If you have PAD, blood flow to the arms, legs, kidneys and other vital organs can be limited.
The femoral artery is the main artery that provides oxygenated blood to the tissues of the leg. It passes through the deep tissues of the femoral (or thigh) region of the leg parallel to the femur. The common femoral artery is the largest artery found in the femoral region of the body.
Weakened veins cause oxygen depletion in your legs, giving you that heavy sensation in your legs. People who have varicose veins or other problems with venous insufficiency in the legs can lead to some leg swelling that gives a sensation of heaviness. It may also a serious symptom of peripheral vascular disease.
Peripheral artery disease can be treated by lifestyle alterations, medications, angioplasty and related treatments, or surgery. A combination of treatment methods may be used. Complications of peripheral artery disease include sores that do not heal, ulcers, gangrene, or infections in the extremities.
The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests how you can help prevent vascular disease:
- Don't smoke.
- Get regular exercise -- at least 30 minutes, four to six times per week.
- Stick to a healthy low-sodium, low-fat diet.
- Take medications if you need them to help lower your cholesterol and lower your blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and it has left you unable to work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. PAD is a documented medical disorder that results from the narrowing in the arteries in the extremities, the legs in particular.
Your doctor may also rely on one or more of the following tests to diagnose PVD: Ankle-brachial index (ABI) - a diagnostic test that compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm. Angiography - this form of imaging allows your doctor to view blood flow through your arteries.
The most common cause of peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.) is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries. The exact cause of atherosclerosis isn't known. When damage occurs, your body starts a healing process.
Heavy legs (French: jambes lourdes) is an alleged medical condition, described as an "unpleasant sensation of pain and heaviness" in the lower limbs. It is of French origin but is occasionally seen elsewhere. The cause may be venous insufficiency or peripheral arterial disease.
The exact cause of atherosclerosis is unknown, but several risk factors accelerate the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries: being male. family history of vascular disease, angina, heart attacks or stroke. high blood pressure.
Tight calf muscles may be caused by a compartment syndrome. This is where the muscle becomes too big for the sheath surrounding the muscle causing pressure, sometimes pain, and restricted movement. Biomechanical problems of the foot or from running style can increase the strain on the calf muscles.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a blood circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside of your heart and brain to narrow, block, or spasm. This can happen in your arteries or veins. PVD typically causes pain and fatigue, often in your legs, and especially during exercise.
Migraine and Other Vascular Headaches—Symptoms and Diagnosis. Migraine: The most common of vascular headaches, migraines are thought to involve abnormal functioning of the brain's blood vessels. Migraines cause severe pain on one or both sides of the head, upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision.
The most common cause of PVD is atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque inside the artery wall. Plaque reduces the amount of blood flow to the limbs. It also decreases the oxygen and nutrients available to the tissue.
When plaque limits blood flow, it can cause a variety of problems. PAD can cause leg pain when walking or abdominal pain after eating. Severe PAD can lead to foot or leg amputation. And because of the atherosclerosis connection, many people with PAD die from a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, or stroke.
The best way to try to prevent PAD is to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle:
- If you are a smoker, quit smoking.
- Work to control your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.
- Exercise regularly.
- Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and eat more fruits and vegetables.