Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
by Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
The most common form of PAD is caused by atherosclerosis. The arteries most commonly affected are those that carry blood to your legs. Lack of blood to these areas causes the symptoms associated with PAD.
Calf or thigh pain with exercise is termed claudication. Claudication is a sign of PAD. The discomfort may consist of cramping, limping, or a feeling of heaviness, weakness, or fatigue in the legs. Symptoms of claudication usually begin after walking a certain distance—such as a block or two—and end after resting for the same length each time.
Many people will have no symptoms at all. In those that have them, PAD may cause:
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 3, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Symptoms and diagnosis of PAD. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.o... . Updated August 16, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.
What are the signs and symptoms of peripheral arterial disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.n... . Updated April 1, 2011. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Last reviewed August 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO; Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013