If your legs hurt when you walk, they might not be getting enough blood because of a condition called peripheral artery disease, which can be a sign of serious cardiac health risks. At Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants, LLC in Beltsville and Columbia, Maryland, board-certified cardiologist Ayim Djamson, MD, is experienced in diagnosing and treating leg pain that results from peripheral artery disease. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.
Peripheral artery disease is a condition where your arteries narrow, reducing blood flow to your limbs, especially your legs. When your legs don’t receive enough blood, you may experience aches and pains when you walk, usually in your calves, though it can also affect your hips or thighs.
Leg pain while walking or performing other physical activity is called claudication. The symptoms can be mild or severe and go away with rest. In addition to claudication, peripheral artery disease has other symptoms that result from your legs not getting enough blood, including:
Even if your leg pain is mild, don’t ignore the signs of peripheral artery disease. It’s usually the sign of atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries from build-up fatty deposits. Atherosclerosis is unlikely to be limited to your legs and is a risk factor for serious health complications, including heart attack and stroke.
Peripheral artery disease usually results from atherosclerosis, so the risk factors are similar to the risks for atherosclerosis in general. You’re more likely to develop peripheral artery disease if you:
Managing these risk factors can help prevent or even reverse peripheral artery disease.
Dr. Djamson diagnoses peripheral artery disease by comparing the blood pressure in your ankle and your lower arm. If you have peripheral artery disease, you’ll have much lower blood pressure in your ankle. He may also perform an X-ray called an angiogram to locate the blockage in your artery.
You can usually manage peripheral artery disease by managing your cholesterol and blood pressure, through medication, exercise, and eating a heart-healthy diet. Dr. Djamson may also prescribe medication specifically for claudication.
If your legs hurt when you walk, don’t ignore it. Schedule an appointment at Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants, LLC by calling or using the online booking tool.