If you’ve got pain in your legs when you walk, don’t ignore it. All of us at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center want you to know that lower leg pain maybe a sign that you’ve got a condition called PAD – peripheral arterial disease.
What is PAD?
Peripheral arterial disease occurs when fatty deposits build up in the blood vessels of the lower leg. This makes it harder for blood to flow down into the legs and back. Signs that you may have this type of blockage include
- pain anywhere in the lower legs, especially when you’re moving around
- feet and/or lower legs that are often tingling, cold, numb or weak
- slow healing of any cuts or sores on your lower legs and feet
- discoloration of the skin (lower legs, feet, toes)
- changes in toenail thickness or color
- a lack of hair growth on your toes or lower legs
Who gets PAD?
Anyone with a family history of PAD, smokers, those over age 50, and people who don’t exercise can be at risk. However, you’re much more likely to get PAD if you have diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness month, and that’s why board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm wants to call attention to this condition that can threaten the health of your feet.
Take preventative measures
Once you develop this kind of circulation problem, not only are your feet in danger, but you’re at a much higher risk for life-threatening events like heart attack and stroke. That’s why it’s important for diabetics to do everything they can to prevent PAD. There are a number of ways:
- First and foremost, control your blood glucose levels. Keep your A1C levels below 7%.
- Also, quit smoking. Diabetic or not, smoking greatly increases your risk of PAD.
- Lose weight if you need to.
- Finally, keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in normal ranges.
If you’re experiencing continued lower leg pain, numbness, or any of the other symptoms listed here, make an appointment with us at our office in Centreville, Virginia for a full examination to rule out PAD – or to begin treatment ASAP. Contact us online or call our podiatry practice at (703) 996-3000.