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 disease (PAD) can cause leg pain while walking. Aches and pains from PAD are the result of narrowed, hardened arteries 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 atherosclerosis. 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 ischemia (CLI), the worst form of PAD. This condition is associated with significant risk for amputation and can put a person’s life at risk.4

Ask your doctor about pain while walking - medical illustration

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.