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Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Causes and Risk Factors

Pain in your legs, while you walk or lie down, can be overwhelming. Numbness or weakness in your legs or slow-healing sores on your feet can be alarming.

If you have these symptoms, do not ignore them as a regular part of aging. You might have peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is often successfully treated when caught on time and can be further improved with significant lifestyle changes.


What is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a circulatory disorder in which narrowed arteries limit blood flow to certain parts of your body – usually your legs and arms. Why does this happen? Usually, PAD is a result of fatty deposits that build up on your artery walls.

When blood flow is reduced to your limbs, early warning signs often include leg pain, cramping in your hips, thighs, calf muscles after activities, and leg numbness or weakness.

When these early warning signs are ignored, PAD progresses and exhibits more severe and often debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, many people seek treatment when they have wounds that won’t heal or they’re in so much pain they can’t walk anymore.

Peripheral Artery Disease


  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Age 65 or older


Risk Factors

  • A family history of PAD, especially in immediate relation
  • A history of heart disease, stroke, or heart attack
  • Burning or aching in feet or toes while resting
  • Cold legs or feet, especially on one side versus the other
  • Restless legs or shooting pains in your legs or feet during sleep
  • Loss of hair on legs or feet or slower overall hair growth on your lower extremities
  • Color change in the skin of legs or feet that doesn’t go away
  • Weak pulse in feet or legs
  • Erectile dysfunction, in rare cases, for men

How to Prevent PAD

At Valley Radiology, we understand the impact that PAD can have on your life and the lives of those around you. It is essential to make informed decisions about the next steps in your journey with this disease.

While determining the best treatment option for you, some other ways to manage symptoms include lifestyle changes such as:

  • Quitting smoking, as this is the most significant risk factor in a PAD diagnosis
  • Participating in a monitored exercise program
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in heart-healthy options while avoiding foods high in saturated fats, sugars, or sodium
  • Taking good care of your legs and feet by wearing shoes that fit well, trimming your nails regularly, washing and moisturizing daily, and promptly treating injuries that may arise

If you are at an increased risk of developing PAD or are beginning to experience symptoms, contact us today for a consultation. Whether the symptoms you are experiencing are mild or severe, our team of experts can recommend the best treatment for you.

To request an appointment, call 910-486-5700 or use our easy online contact form.