Suffering from cold, numb or aching hands and feet? This affliction may
be due to poor circulation. Don’t wait…if left alone, it will only get
worse. Unless…you choose to do something about it! Take control of your
are simple non-invasive tests here at the clinic that can let you know
if your blood flow is being inhibited. This could be due to several
causes. The most common causes of poor circulation or Peripheral Artery
Disease (PAD) can include diabetes, abnormal cholesterol, cigarette
smoking, high blood pressure, even lack of exercise.
almost each of these, the basis is the same…hardening of the arteries.
Also known as atherosclerosis, it occurs when arteries (blood vessels
that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body)
become narrowed due to fat deposited on the inside walls of the
arteries, which then becomes hardened by fibrous tissue and
calcification (arteriosclerosis). This plaque can grow, narrowing the
diameter of the artery (the space in the artery tubes), thereby reducing
both the oxygen and blood supply to the affected area or organ (such as
the heart, eyes, kidneys, legs, or the brain). The plaque, if not
treated, could eventually block the artery, causing death of the tissue
supplied by the artery. This increases your risk of damaged tissue
(gangrene) that may require amputation. People with peripheral artery
disease also have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. A visual
of this process can be seen here.
atherosclerosis narrows the long arteries of the legs, blood flow to
the leg muscles becomes inadequate when the muscles are trying to work.
Muscle pain, called intermittent claudication, can result. This
typically comes on with exercise, and is relieved with rest.
on the arteries affected and the location of the blockage(s), different
muscle groups can be affected. Location examples of this include
buttock and hip, thigh, calf (most common), and foot (less common).
pain can be atypical and therefore, attributed to something else. Some
patients describe burning or numbness. There also can be severe
blockages with no pain at all. Often this is because the body grows
blood vessels that "bypass" the blockages, called collateral
signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease to watch for can include
wounds that heal poorly or don’t heal, legs that are cooler than arms,
shiny skin or loss of hair on the legs, and decreased pulses in the
feet. If you have any of these symptoms or know someone else who does,
call us today for a free consultation with the one of our doctors to see how they can help, 806-355-8263.