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Understanding the Impact of PAD on Foot Health

Tuesday, 04 June 2024 00:00

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a prevalent vascular condition characterized by narrowed arteries that limits blood flow to the extremities (including the feet). The restricted blood flow deprives the feet of oxygen and vital nutrients, leading to a range of symptoms. Individuals with PAD may experience intermittent claudication, a condition marked by pain or cramping in the legs or feet during physical activity but subsides with rest. Other symptoms can include numbness, tingling, or weakness in the feet, particularly while at rest or during nighttime. As PAD progresses, individuals may develop non-healing wounds or ulcers on the feet, which pose a risk of infection and tissue damage. Recognizing the symptoms of PAD and seeking timely medical intervention is essential in managing the condition and preserving foot health. Regular exercise, smoking cessation, and medication management are among the strategies employed to lessen PAD's effects and improve overall vascular health. If you have tingling or numbness in your feet, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can diagnose and help you to manage PAD.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Institue. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in St. George, Hurricane, and Cedar City, UT and Mesquite, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
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