When you walk, you may experience pain in your thigh, calf, or buttocks. You might become clumsy. It could indicate peripheral artery disease (PAD). This occurs when the blood supply to your legs is decreased due to restricted or clogged arteries.

Initially, claudication pain appears after a specific amount of walking and disappears after resting. However, if the condition worsens, pain may develop even when you only go small distances. As the pain worsens, you can eventually lose the ability to walk.

Claudication has been connected to medical issues that raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. In order to determine whether you have artery disease in other body parts, you should be examined.

In adults over 50, peripheral artery disease (PAD) is more prevalent. The main artery of the body, the aorta, or the arteries in the legs are what cause PAD. This may lessen blood flow to the muscles in your buttocks, thigh, or calf. The pain that results in claudication may be brought on by this reduced blood flow.

Usually, atherosclerosis—a narrowing and hardening of the arteries—causes the obstruction. Plaque accumulation inside the arteries is the reason for this. Fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other components of the blood are what make up plaque. Your heart arteries may also be impacted by this plaque buildup. It may result in heart attack or chest pain.

The most typical locations for leg blockages are in the thigh and just behind the knee. However, they can also happen in other locations like the aorta, groin, or belly. More than one blockage is possible.

To whom does claudication pose a risk?

The same risk factors that cause atherosclerosis—hardened arteries—also cause claudication. They consist of:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • excess weight
  • Being inactive
  • High triglycerides
  • elevated blood pressure
  • family history of claudication or atherosclerosis
  • older age (for men 55, for women 60)

What signs of claudication are there?

Claudication is a sign of arterial narrowing or blockage.

Claudication symptoms frequently include:

  • Walking causes you to feel your legs and buttocks in pain, burning, or fatigue.
  • Shiny, hairless, blotchy, and susceptible to blisters foot skin
  • When the leg is elevated, it is pale, and when it is dropped, it is red.
  • frozen feet
  • masculine impotence
  • Leg ache in sleeping at night

The signs of claudication can resemble those of other illnesses. For a diagnosis, consult your healthcare provider at all times.

Where can claudication be found?

Finding constricted arteries in your legs is the main goal of diagnosis. In addition to performing an examination, your doctor will record your medical history. Additionally, you might undergo tests like:

ABI, or ankle-brachial index. Your arms and legs will have their blood pressure taken for this test. It compares the two measurements. A normal blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasonography machine are used for ABI.

Auscultation. During this examination, the doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the arteries in your legs or abdomen. This is done to check for the presence of a bruit, which is a whooshing sound. A bruit indicates restricted blood flow in the region.

The ultrasonic Doppler. For this test, the blood flow in the blood arteries is examined using a Doppler probe housed inside an ultrasound probe. High-frequency sound waves are reflected off of red blood cells to accomplish this. The probe captures the sound waves that are reflected and transmits them to an amplifier so that they can be heard. Blood flow may be obstructed if there is no sound or only a very faint sound.

Arteriogram, another name for an angiogram. The blood vessels can be seen in the X-ray image. It could be carried out to determine the size and presence of an obstruction. In a leg artery, a skinny, flexible tube is inserted. The artery receives an injection of contrast dye. The contrast dye enhances the visibility of the arteries and veins on the X-ray.

What steps may I take to avoid claudication?

The blood vessels in your heart and brain can be impacted by the same hardened arteries (atherosclerosis) that cause claudication in your legs. Reducing your atherosclerosis risk factors is crucial for this reason. Along with heart attack and stroke, this can assist avoid claudication.

Your risk factors can be decreased by:

  • lowering blood pressure
  • reducing your LDL (bad) cholesterol as your physician has advised
  • iincreasing your HDL (good) cholesterol in accordance with your doctor's advice
  • reducing blood fat levels (triglycerides)
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • wearing DrLuigi medical shoes
  • raising your level of exercise, especially walking
  • maintaining blood sugar levels when suffering from diabetes
  • quitting smoking and abstaining from all tobacco and nicotine products
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