Treating and Preventing Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that often affects blood flow to the legs due to narrowing of the arteries. PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a serious condition in which fat deposits known as plaques build up in the arteries and eventually restrict or block blood flow.

If you have PAD you will most likely experience painful cramping, weakness or numbness in the legs, particularly during movement. You may also notice that the leg or foot is colder than the rest of your body. Sometimes persistent sores can develop that won’t heal. Your legs may also change color or the skin may appear shiny. While the pain will often go away at rest, if PAD is left untreated you may notice these symptoms even at rest. Sometimes symptoms can even be bad enough to affect your sleep.

While these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions you should not ignore your symptoms, as undiagnosed PAD can lead to heart attack or stroke. This is why it’s important to see your podiatrist if you notice leg or foot numbness, weakness, tingling or pain.

You may be at an increased risk for peripheral artery disease if you:

Preventing Peripheral Artery Disease 

Your podiatrist’s goal is to reduce your risk for peripheral artery disease, especially if you are at an increased risk. This involves implementing a variety of lifestyle changes. Some ways to prevent PAD include:

Treating Peripheral Artery Disease 

If you do end up developing PAD a podiatrist can be an instrumental part of your medical team to help you manage your symptoms and prevent complications. PAD treatments are designed to reduce symptoms such as leg pain while also stopping the buildup of fat deposits within the arteries.

Again, modifying your lifestyle can greatly improve your condition. The same lifestyle changes that prevent PAD can also treat PAD. Of course, lifestyle modifications alone won’t be enough to prevent atherosclerosis from progressing. Therefore, your podiatrist may also prescribe certain medications including cholesterol and blood pressure medications, diabetes medication, and medication that prevents blood clots. Sometimes surgery or angioplasty is recommended if there is a blockage within the arteries.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of PAD it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for an evaluation.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Your Child Has Flat Feet. Now What?

From head to toe, you ensure your child’s wellbeing. So, it’s concerning when you notice problems with your child’s feet. Our expert is here to answer all of your questions and guide you toward the treatments your child needs.

A Closer Look at How Arthritis Can Impact Your Feet

Arthritis can make your knees stiff and your hands ache, but did you know it can also cause painful symptoms in your feet? Learn more about how the many bones and joints in your feet can become damaged by arthritis and how we can help.

What Every Athlete Should Know About Their Achilles Tendon

From braces and tape to mouth guards and masks, there are lots of ways you can protect yourself from injury while playing a sport. But what about your Achilles tendon? Read on to find out what every athlete should know about their Achilles tendon.

5 Helpful Tips to Care For Your Diabetic Foot at Home

You’ve received the life-changing news that you have diabetes. Lots will change moving forward, including the way you care for your feet, but we’re here to help you navigate it all. Explore our top five at-home diabetic foot care tips.