Peripheral Artery Disease Causes Walking Leg Pain and Cramps Symptoms for PAD Treatment

Peripheral artery disease, PAD for short, is a circulation problem caused by the narrowing of your arteries, thus reducing the blood flow to your extremities. Your arteries are what carry oxygen and nutrient rich blood from the heart to the rest of you. So when blood flow is restricted, then parts of you will experience a shortage.

Peripheral artery disease is a form of PVD, which usually occurs in your legs and most often causes pain and cramps symptoms when walking because of an increased demand. Although PAD can affect the arteries that carry blood to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach as well. And your pain caused by a blood deficiency due to diminished arterial flow is referred to as claudication.

The usual cause of peripheral arterial disease is plaque build-up, a health condition known as atherosclerosis. But occasionally vasculitis, arterial injury, radiation exposure and anatomically unique ligaments or muscles causes arterial blood flow issues. And you have CAD if restrictive blood flow is in the arteries supplying your heart, which frequently develops simultaneously with PAD.

There are a couple health related circumstances that put you at an increased risk for developing peripheral arterial disease, specifically:

Walking leg pain and cramps are generally the earliest symptoms indicating peripheral artery disease is brewing, especially when walking uphill or climbing stairs. In the beginning, before this health condition causes excessive clogging, your painful symptoms will likely be alleviated by rest. As PAD progresses, your symptoms could expand into:

When peripheral artery disease is left untreated, then serious health complications could arise, like

Basic initial treatment to stop, or even reverse, peripheral artery disease encompasses diet changes, exercise and lower high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Vital lifestyle changes you can make to combat PAD are:

For many, adjusting their lifestyle is enough to quell their walking leg pain and cramping symptoms of peripheral artery disease.

If lifestyle changes are not enough, then the next level of treatment is taking drugs to prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as control pain, cramping and other PAD symptoms. Medications may involve:

  • statins
  • cilostazol
  • clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • daily aspirin therapy
  • blood sugar lowering drugs
  • blood pressure lowering drugs

In more severe cases, PAD treatment may require one or more of these surgical options:

Thrombolytic therapy is another peripheral artery disease treatment wherein a clot-dissolving drug is injected into your artery at the site of a blood clot.

The best way to prevent peripheral artery disease is via a healthy lifestyle, i.e. consume a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.