Posts for tag: Peripheral Artery Disease

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
February 05, 2020
Category: Podiatry

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:

  • Smoke
  • Are obese
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have diabetes
  • Are over age 65
  • Have a family history of peripheral artery disease or stroke

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:

  • Getting your diabetes under control
  • Lowering your cholesterol
  • Exercising regularly several times a week
  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding junk foods
  • Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight

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.

A new study that was publishedin the Journal of the American Heart Association suggested that people who suffer from clogged arteries enjoy greater benefits from a home-exercise program. "The problem with supervised exercise is that it takes many visits to a cardiac rehabilitation center or other exercise facility, and it is not covered by Medicare," Mary McGrae McDermott, M.D said. The study further showed that home-exercise programs actually continued to provide relief for those with lower extremity leg complications. This was even twelve months after the participants started on the program.

 Having poor circulation in the feet is never a good thing. If you  have poor circulation of the feet, see podiatrist Dr. Brian Tedesco of Complete Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Tedesco can treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

 Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. It usually restricts the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

It can also cause:

-muscle pain  
-numbness in legs
-cramps           
-skin discoloration
-weakness       
-slower nail & hair growth
-stiffness        
-erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes and or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, or who are over 50.

If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions

As always see a doctor as they will help try and fit a regime that suits you. A doctor will also prescribe you medication which will help for PAD.  

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Poor Circulation in the Feet



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New England & Ankle Specialists

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30 New Crossing Road Suite 311 Reading, MA 01876