Pain when you walk can be caused by a number of conditions, including peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Because painful walking can keep you from living a healthy, active lifestyle, it’s important to seek help to correct these issues.
PAD occurs when arteries in your legs are narrowed by plaque. Because your legs are not receiving enough blood flow, you may feel pain while walking that goes away after resting for a few minutes. You might also experience leg numbness or weakness, coldness in your legs or feet, sores on your feet or legs that won’t heal or a change in the color of your legs.
PAD is easily diagnosed through ultrasound, a noninvasive, no radiation imaging procedure. Depending on the results of the imaging, you and your physician will work together to create a treatment plan involving lifestyle changes, medications and, in some cases, surgery.
Lifestyle changes such as quitting tobacco use, eating a heart healthy diet and exercising can help reduce the severity of your symptoms. Your physician will also prescribe you medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure, keep your blood from clotting or control blood sugar. Surgery may also be required to remove existing plaque. Most surgeries are minimally invasive.
PAD may be a sign of other plaque buildup in your body, putting you at risk for heart attack or stroke. Work with your cardiologist to help manage these risks and live a healthier lifestyle.
About Dr. Camacho -Marc Camacho, MD, received his Bachelor of Science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Board eligible in vascular surgery, he earned his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H. and completed a residency in vascular surgery at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Dr. Camacho is a member of the Southern Association of Vascular Surgery, the Society for Vascular Surgery, and the American College of Physicians.