If the simple act of walking, let alone getting proper exercise, causes you the discomfort and pain of cramps then you might have an issue with circulation in your legs. Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD for short, is the clinical term for when plaque forms in the arteries of your legs, blocking the ability of your blood to adequately flow where it’s needed. At Ozark Foot & Ankle, PLC, we’re specialists in diseases and conditions that affect your feet and your legs. So if you are experiencing signs that are consistent with peripheral arterial disease, call us and schedule an exam by our podiatrist in Fayetteville.
An important thing to understand about peripheral arterial disease is that it can be silent, having no obvious symptoms to alert you early on, but still being present. Typically, though, you are eventually likely to notice tightness in the calf, thigh, or the buttocks when you walk. Aching or more severe pain may develop as well, and you could begin to experience it even over short distances. It’s common for the pain to be present during a walk, but then to disappear afterward. Over time, however, you could end up maintaining that pain even when you’re not walking. Our podiatrist in Fayetteville can help.
A physical examination along with a series of tests will permit a diagnosis to be made. These include cholesterol and blood sugar, and checking your pulse at various parts of your leg to gauge your blood flow along with looking at the color of your foot when elevated to determine if sufficient blood is getting through. Ultrasound may be used as well. If our podiatrist in Fayetteville concludes that you have peripheral arterial disease, a strategy will be discussed and implemented to address it.
The preferred course of treatment centers on lifestyle adjustments, such as a healthier diet, sufficient exercise, and giving up smoking. By lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, you should experience relief from your symptoms as well as reducing your rick for a heart attack or stroke. If healthier habits aren’t enough to get your cholesterol and blood pressure in line, medication may be needed to help. Our podiatrist in Fayetteville is prepared to get you pointed in the right direction.