Leg pain while walking or doing other activities could be a sign of peripheral artery disease, an expert says.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) develops silently, narrowing blood vessels until a shortfall in the supply of nutrients and oxygen causes cramps and leg pain, explained Dr. Faisal Aziz, chief of vascular surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
“Pain with physical exertion is a classic, hallmark sign,” Aziz said in a Penn State Health news release. “When it gets really bad, it can form wounds on the legs that do not heal or cause blackening of the foot or toes.”
Risk factors for peripheral artery disease include age and gender. Men and all people 65 and older are most likely to develop the condition. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, uncontrolled diabetes and heart disease.