Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a progressive circulatory disorder. PVD refers to the hardening of the arteries and is known as atherosclerosis, when plaque builds in an artery, diminishing blood flow over time and leading to tissue or organ damage. Patients with PAD often experience leg pain that occurs with walking causing, numbness and tingling in the feet, trouble walking, foot pain that wakes you at night, and sores that won’t heal. Certain factors put you at greater risk for PVD.
Risk factors for PAD include:
- Age (over 50)
- High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
- Family history
- Heart disease
- History of stroke
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
patients with pvd may experience the following symptoms:
A sudden cold, painful, pale limb with weak or no pulses is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention.
- Muscle pain when walking
- Legs felling numb or heavy
- Leg cramping
- Weak pulses in the legs or feet
- Wounds that don't heal
Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatments and more (patient resources/videos from the Society for Vascular Surgery)
Know When to Contact Your Doctor About Leg Pain. It is natural to experience growing aches and pains with age—but if you have persistent pain in your legs for no obvious reason, it is important to take it more seriously and notify your physician.