If you have foot or leg discomfort, as well as swelling, aching, and discoloration, the cause may be a circulatory condition such as peripheral artery disease. Circulatory conditions can be a sign of serious cardiovascular health problems, so don’t ignore these symptoms. The experienced medical team at Premier Foot & Ankle performs vascular testing to diagnose circulatory conditions in the legs and feet. For your convenience, there are practice offices in McKinney, Dallas, Frisco, Allen, Mesquite, Celina, Sherman, Irving, and Plano, Texas. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that reduces blood flow to your limbs. It affects your legs more than your arms.
It’s usually a sign of atherosclerosis, where fats, cholesterol, and other material builds up in your arteries. Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of most forms of heart disease. You’re more likely to develop atherosclerosis if you have diabetes.
The leg pain that results from PAD is worse while walking, climbing stairs, and performing physical activity but gets better with rest. That’s because your legs don’t get enough blood while exercising. You may get cramps in your hips, thighs, or calves.
In addition to pain, you can experience a range of other symptoms from insufficient blood flow. Your legs and feet may be numb or weak, feel cold, and lose their pulse.
Don’t ignore the symptoms of PAD, even if they’re mild. The condition is usually a sign that you’re at risk of serious health complications, including heart attack or stroke.
Your podiatrist may recommend a vascular test if you show signs of PAD. Vascular testing can also help diagnose chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI is a painful, but non-life-threatening, condition where blood doesn’t flow from your feet and legs back to your heart.
If you have diabetes, your podiatrist may also test the arteries in your legs for damage or blockages. This can predict your risk of diabetic foot ulcers, infections, and other complications. That’s because circulatory issues make healing more difficult and increase your likelihood of infection.
It’s important to treat circulatory issues in your legs and feet. They’re often a sign you need to treat an underlying condition, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Your podiatrist can help you manage your pain and improve your circulation. Often, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can relieve symptoms of PAD and prevent atherosclerosis from getting worse.
Your podiatrist can perform a range of tests to diagnose circulatory issues in your legs and feet, including:
ABI is a common test for PAD. Your podiatrist compares the blood pressure in your ankle to the blood pressure in your arm.
You perform exercise, such as walking on a treadmill, to try to produce your symptoms. Your podiatrist may take your ankle blood pressure before and after you exercise to see how much your arteries narrow.
Your doctor may perform an imaging test, such as an ultrasound or angiography, to view and evaluate the blood flow in your arteries.
Don’t ignore leg pain. To schedule a vascular test, call your most convenient office of Premier Foot & Ankle or use the online booking tool.