If you experience pain while walking, it could mean more than just being out of shape. Leg pain can actually be a sign of a more serious problem called Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), or clogged arteries in the legs that can lead to intense pain, numbness, and more serious conditions.
Like heart disease, risk factors for PAD include: smoking, family history of coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Know the Signs of PAD
The most common symptom of PAD is usually aching or cramping in the legs when walking. This discomfort usually goes away when you rest, then comes back again with activity. Other symptoms of PAD include:
- Sore feet while resting
- Feeling of weakness, numbness or heaviness in the legs
- Skin color changes
- Leg or foot sores that are slow to heal
Get Help for PAD
If you think you may be experiencing signs of PAD, see your doctor right away. Screening for PAD is easy and painless. One method is to compare blood pressure in the ankle to that in the arm. If the pressure in the leg is lower than in the arm, it could indicate artery blockage associated with PAD.