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Peripheral Vascular Disease Therapy

PAD Treatment in Darke County

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a slow progressive circulation disorder caused by the narrowing or blocking of a blood vessel that reduces blood flow to the legs. The most common cause of PVD is the buildup of plaque inside the artery wall. Through exercise therapy, patients can help control PVD symptoms and halt its progression, lowering the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other complications.

PAD can be successfully treated by making essential lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet while managing your weight.

PAD Symptoms

While symptoms of PAD can be mild and fleeting, many have leg pain when walking, primarily because the legs do not receive enough blood flow. You shouldn’t just accept leg pain as a normal sign of aging, as it could be a serious problem that is treatable. See your doctor if you have symptoms such as leg numbness/weakness, wounds on the legs that do not heal, slower toenail growth, shiny leg skin, and for men, erectile dysfunction. Without timely treatment, pain may progress even further and occur even while at rest or lying down, which can also keep you awake at night.

Should I See a Doctor for PAD?

There are many risk factors for PAD that make you susceptible to the disease. For instance, smokers, diabetics, and the obese, and individuals over 50 are at a much higher risk. Any of these factors can cause narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow.

The test for PAD is simple and noninvasive. The most common test is called ankle-brachial index (ABI), where the blood pressure in your ankle and your arm is compared, and the numbers that result can indicate to your doctor whether PAD may be the cause of your leg pain.

PAD Treatment

When diagnosed early, PAD is quite treatable. You may be able to lessen the pain by making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or managing your weight. Your doctor may prescribe medications that prevent blood clots, lower your blood pressure and/or cholesterol, and manage any pain or other symptoms. Surgery may be necessary to treat more severe cases of PAD.

Doctors often prescribe a supervised exercise program for PAD patients that help you increase the distance you can walk without pain. Regular exercise is beneficial for patients with PAD because it helps the body use oxygen more efficiently.