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Take the Stairs

Icon of stairsPeripheral artery disease, or PAD, occurs when plaque builds in the arteries narrowing or clogging blood flow. Although this occurs most commonly in the legs, it can also affect the arms, stomach or head.

Hardening of the arteries and plaque buildup is normal as you age; however, there are some risk factors that can contribute to developing PAD sooner. Those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, have a family history, are physically inactive or smoke are at a higher risk.

Sometimes, those with PAD do not experience symptoms but when symptoms do appear, the most common is pain or cramping in the thighs or calves when walking. Other symptoms include:

  • Leg fatigue or heaviness
  • Pain in the feet while at rest
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet
  • Loss of hair on the feet or toes
  • Coldness in the lower legs or feet
  • Weak pulse in the legs or feet
  • Sores or ulcers on the legs or feet

Keeping active is one way to reduce your risk of developing PAD. Keep moving when possible. Don’t mistake PAD for something else. Those who experience it are at a greater risk of heart attack or stroke. And if left untreated, PAD could lead to gangrene and amputation.

Find a doctor near you to help keep your heart on beat.


Featured Heart Specialists


Joseph Ricotta, MD, MS, DFSVS, FACS

Joseph Ricotta, MD, MS, DFSVS, FACS

Endovascular Surgery, Vascular Surgery
Delray Beach 33445, Delray Beach 33484