Peripheral Artery Disease: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Sometimes, you feel pain in legs while walking or feel cramps at legs that increase with physical activity. These are symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease, commonly called PAD.


What is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral Artery Disease is a condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to arms or legs. In this condition, enough blood does not flow to the legs. It is usually a sign of accumulation of fatty deposits, also called plaque- made of fatty substances and cholesterol in the arteries leading to less flow of blood in the legs or arms. As a result, you can feel pain and cramps in your legs.

The treatment for this disease is to improve your lifestyle habits like eating healthy and quitting smoking and tobacco.



Usually, the symptoms of peripheral artery disease   are mild but there are cases when people have pain while walking. Some of the symptoms of peripheral artery disease  are:

1.Weakness in the leg

2.Weak pulse in the leg

3.Skin colour changes on the leg

4.Shiny skin on legs

5.Painful cramps in thighs that increase during physical activities

6.Erectile dysfunction

7.Hair loss in legs

8.Slow growth of toenails

9.Numbness in the leg

Studies suggest that If the peripheral artery disease is not treated in time it may get worse. It may lead to heart attack and amputation.


Causes of peripheral artery disease

Generally, the cause of peripheral artery disease is due to the building up of fatty deposits on artery walls. The process is called atherosclerosis. It reduces blood flow throughout the body. Atherosclerosis affects arteries throughout the body. But when the arteries that supply blood to the limbs are affected, it becomes the primary reason of peripheral artery disease.

Some of the less common causes of peripheral artery diseases include:

1.Radiation exposure

2.Injury to the legs or arm

3.Blood vessel Inflammation

4.Changes in the muscle


Factors that trigger peripheral artery disease

Many factors increase the chance of peripheral artery disease. Some are:



3.High blood pressure


5.High levels of amino acid

6.Family history of heart disease

7.High levels of amino acid



The best way to prevent peripheral artery disease is to lead a healthy lifestyle. You need to include healthy habits in your lifestyle. Smoking should be avoided. To maintain blood sugar and a healthy weight you need to intake proper nutrition and make time for regular exercise.

Generally, people with PAD have high cholesterol levels. A diet with low trans-fat can help improve your blood cholesterol levels. A healthy diet comprising fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and seeds can keep you in better health.  You should stay away from red meat, beverages with too much sugar and oily foods.

Along with these, you should check out to manage blood pressure and cholesterol.

Though, any exercise is fine, walking is considered as the best exercise that may improve the conditions of persons suffering from peripheral artery disease.

Simple steps for best workout, you can follow for getting the best result:

1.Stretch your calf and thigh muscles for 15 seconds.

2.Walk for about 5 minutes at a brisk rate. And then stop for few seconds. Start walking again.

3.If you feel pain, stop for a while and then again start walking. However, if the pain persists consult a medical professional.

4.Repeat the activity of walking and resting.

5.After walking for a while do stretch your calf and thigh muscles, again.

6.Do this activity every day.



The diagnosis of this disease is done by healthcare professionals, only. So if you feel any sort of pain or cramps in the legs, don’t waste time. Do consult a peripheral vascular specialists or vascular doctor, specialized in treating PAD immediately. Treatment of peripheral artery disease should be done with care.

At Neotia Getwel Multispecialty Hospital, our department of Cardiology & Cardio Thoracic and Vascular surgery is dedicated to excellence in patient care. Comprising Cardiologist, Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgeons and support team, backed by state-of-the-art technology, we provide the best treatment and medication to improve your peripheral artery disease.



The main goal for treatment for peripheral artery disease area is not only to improve the conditions of PAD but also to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Healthy lifestyles along with medication is very important.

Lifestyle changes can be very beneficial in the early course of peripheral artery disease. As discussed above, smoking creates a problem, so it’s best to quit smoking. Doing exercise, on a regular basis can be hugely beneficial. You can start with simple walking and doing simple physical exercise on a regular basis. And consult our expert medical professionals for the right treatment.

God forbid, if you have peripheral artery disease, get it treated by our medical professionals and see him on a regular basis. Proper treatment would improve the conditions and decrease the complications.



Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.