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What are symptoms of PAD?

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Video Overview

What are symptoms of PAD? Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, refers to narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the legs. This narrowing is usually due to the progression of a plaque that grows into the artery from the wall. Symptoms from PAD are related to not getting enough oxygenated blood to the legs and feet. Depending on the degree of the blockages, symptoms can vary widely, but the three most common symptoms include leg pain when walking, otherwise known as intermittent claudication, foot pain rest, and finally, non-healing wounds on the toes or feet. The first thing people notice with mild blockages is leg pain after walking a certain distance. This is called intermittent claudication. Patients did not have pain when they begin to walk but develop pain when the muscles are requiring more blood than the narrowed arteries can supply. If PAD progresses, foot pain may occur especially when laying down. This is referred to as ischemic rest pain. It may be intense enough to disrupt sleep, but some patients find relief if they hang their leg off the edge of the bed or get out of bed and walk. Finally, once blockages progress to the most severe stage, you may develop wounds on the feet or toes that do not heal. This is the most advanced symptom of peripheral arterial disease.

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