Go with the Flow

After walking up a set of stairs, you stop a moment and look down. Something just doesn’t feel right. Your legs, hip and feet are cramped, cold, numb and weak. This has been happening more and more recently and you are stumped as to why. One disease could be the underlying cause of it all - peripheral artery disease. It will take an examination from a podiatrist to confirm it and it should be treated as soon as symptoms occur.

Peripheral artery disease is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. Usually this is most common in the legs. The legs do not get enough blood flow to keep up with the demand they are experiencing, so they wreak havoc on the body and cause claudication (leg pain) when walking.

Symptoms

  • Cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs (claudication)
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs
  • A change in the color of your legs
  • Slower growth of your toenails
  • Shiny skin on your legs
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet

Claudication symptoms include muscle pain or cramping in your legs or arms that's triggered by activity. These activities can include walking, or climbing up the stairs. The leg pain usually goes away with a bit of rest. The location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery. Calf pain is the most common location.

The severity of claudication varies widely, from mild discomfort to incapacitating pain. Severe claudication can make it hard for you to walk or do other types of physical activity.

When to see a doctor

If you have leg pain, numbness or other symptoms, don't dismiss them as a normal part of aging. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. There Dr. Bruce G. Blank can provide you with diagnostics that will inform you of your foot or ankle disorder. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today. Do not wait until it is too serious to treat.