Two Kinds of PAD Pain and Two Ways to Fight It
How bad is my pain from peripheral artery disease (PAD)? Am I at a higher risk for amputation based on the pain I’m feeling? Vascular Surgeon Dr. Anahita Dua, with Mass General Hospital in Boston, Mass., explains the differences between experiencing pain while walking and pain in the legs while resting. Dr. Dua provides what the pain means, what can be done and the seriousness of peripheral artery disease.
Watch Dr. Dua in “The Two Types of Peripheral Artery Disease Explained,” as she clearly and helpfully breaks down the two different categories of PAD and provides clarity into the kinds of pain PAD patients experience.
PAD in Two Buckets
PAD affects more than 20 million people and has a higher prevalence than cancer, stroke and congestive heart failure.41–43 Despite that, many people don’t know enough about this potentially life-threatening disease.
Dr. Dua explains that PAD can be grouped in two categories:
- Intermittent claudication: If a person experiences pain while walking, and they do not have open wounds on their legs or feet that won’t heal, they likely have intermittent claudication. This kind of PAD can have a very negative effect on quality of life. Dr. Dua explains that walking is the best way for people with this type of PAD to improve leg health, fight the effects of peripheral artery disease, and improve heart and overall health. She recommends that you push through and keep walking, even if you’re experiencing pain. The ultimate result will be an improved quality of life.
- Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI): This type of peripheral artery disease is as serious as it sounds. You may have wounds on your feet or legs that won’t heal, and may experience intense, burning, nighttime pain in your legs when they are at rest. If the pain is there when you’re walking and doesn’t go away even when you’re resting, you could have CLI. People with CLI are at risk of amputation. These individuals need to see a specialist who could prescribe intervention.
Regardless of which kind of PAD you have, see a PAD specialist. It’s important to have the right diagnosis so your doctor can develop and prescribe a treatment plan that is right for you.
For More Information
Detection and treatment of PAD is important. You can better understand the different types and symptoms of PAD. Watch Dr. Anahita Dua, Vascular Surgeon with Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, in “The Two Types of Peripheral Artery Disease Explained” brought to you by Take A Stand Against Amputation® and The Way To My Heart, for more details about the two categories of PAD.
Use CSI’s Find a Doctor tool so you can consult with a healthcare professional immediately if you think you might be at risk for PAD.