Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation
Is it painful to walk?
Have you noticed pain in your leg when you walk? Is it more than just feeling tired when walking? Talk with a health care professional about what you’re experiencing.
Peripheral artery diseasePeripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood. (PADPeripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.) can cause leg pain while walking. Aches and pains from PAD are the result of narrowed, hardened arteriesArteries are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart and other parts of your body. in the legs, limiting blood flow to your legs and feet. When there isn’t enough blood in your muscles and you try to move them, the pain in your leg can be severe.
The discomfort can cause you to favor one of your legs while walking to avoid the pain.19 The pain can worsen when you’re active and decrease when you’re at rest.23 But you know it can come back.
Ask a doctor about pain while walking
When lack of blood flow to your legs and feet cause you to have pain while walking, it can indicate other concerning health issues, such as atherosclerosisAtherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.. This may also involve hardened and narrowed arteries to the heart and brain, causing an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.21
Recurring pain while walking also can mean you are at risk of developing critical limb ischemiaAlso potentially known as CLI, the most severe and deadly form of peripheral artery disease. (CLI), the worst form of PAD. This condition is associated with significant risk for amputationTo surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe) and can put a person’s life at risk.4
If you have pain while walking, don’t assume it’s due to your age. Don’t ignore it. Learn about all of the symptoms of PAD and talk to your health care professional. Or use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a PAD specialist near you.
Talk to Your Doctor
Only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD. Our Symptom Quiz can help guide the conversation about your treatment options.
Take the Symptom Quiz
Click below to take the interactive Symptom Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.