"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Do your legs hurt if you walk? Don't ignore it.

Walking is commonly cited as a wonderful type of exercise for improving many facets of health. But what if walking hurts the legs? Many people relieve leg pain once they walk as a standard a part of aging. In some cases, though, it's an indication of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which may threaten heart and brain health. Although PAD doesn't normally run in families, it's more more likely to occur as people age or in individuals who smoke or have hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

What causes leg pain if you've PAD?

People with PAD have fatty deposits within the arteries outside the guts – often of their legs. Pain occurs because these deposits block blood flow to the muscles, affecting their ability to operate properly.

Pay attention to the pattern of leg pain.

Pain and cramping within the legs, thighs, hips, or buttocks that individuals with PAD experience during movement known as intermittent claudication. It's different from exercise-related pain, since it occurs only during movement and stops after a brief rest, says Dr. Pradhan. Exercise-induced muscle soreness can last for hours or days after exercise, and might still hurt whether you're moving or standing.

PAD pain also affects only the muscles—not the joints. “This can happen when you're climbing a flight of stairs or a hill, and you find yourself stopping frequently for breaks,” says Dr. Pradhan. As PAD obstructions increase, your legs may begin to ache even if you're sitting or lying down.

While leg pain when walking is a typical symptom of PAD, not everyone with PAD has symptoms. Some people experience weakness only with pain or without pain, but it surely follows the same pattern: worsening with exercise and easing with rest.

In some cases, people notice other changes, e.g

  • Slow healing wounds on feet
  • Coldness in a single or each feet
  • Color change on feet
  • Slow growth of leg hair or nails.

Talk to your doctor about leg pain when walking.

While PAD isn't the one reason you would possibly experience leg pain while walking, it's essential to contemplate. Having PAD increases your risk of heart problems. Fatty deposits within the leg arteries may also accumulate within the arteries serving the guts and brain. This makes an individual with PAD more more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than someone without the condition.

If you're experiencing symptoms of PAD, an easy test called the ankle brachial index, or ABI, may help your doctor make a diagnosis. Your doctor will use a special cuff to measure the blood pressure in your ankle, after which compare it to the blood pressure in your arm. If your arteries are clear, these readings should match. Low pressure within the ankle is the PAD tip-off.

Your doctor may perform this test at your annual physical. If your doctor suspects you've PAD, she or he will want to follow up with an angiogram, which uses an MRI or X-ray to take pictures of your arteries, Dr. Pradhan says. Detects bottlenecks for

Pad Cure: Lifestyle Changes and More

Treatment for PAD begins with lifestyle changes, including avoiding tobacco products, exercising frequently, and eating a eating regimen wealthy in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

One of the worst things you'll be able to do if you've PAD is sit still. “One of the problems with PAD is that people are taught to avoid it when they are in pain,” says Dr. Pradhan. “So, [people] People who start to feel pain in their legs while walking think they are old and stop walking. That's exactly what you don't want to do.”

If you've pain, or other symptoms, see your doctor to search out out why it's happening. “Once PAD is diagnosed and you know why you have symptoms, doctors encourage people to get more physical activity to help keep them active,” says Dr. Pradhan. Dr. Pradhan says.

In addition to lifestyle changes, your doctor might also prescribe medication to treat PAD. The drugs most frequently prescribed for individuals with PAD are statins, to stop the build-up of excess fat deposits (plaque). Aspirin, to stop clotting; and medications to regulate hypertension. If your blockage is severe, your doctor might also recommend a procedure to clear the blockage or restart blood flow around it.

As with many other health conditions, early recognition of PAD is critical. “The longer you wait, the harder it is to treat,” says Dr Pradhan.