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Monday, 30 November 2020 00:00

The Two Types of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) refers to poor circulation in your limbs. This is usually caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which causes them to narrow and restrict blood flow. There are two different types of PAD. Occlusive PAD stems from blocked blood vessels and is usually the result of other health conditions, such as atherosclerosis, lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis, or carotid artery stenosis. Functional PAD stems from blood vessels that are not blocked, but rather malfunctioning due to spasms. Functional PAD can be triggered by medical conditions such as varicose veins, Reynaud’s disease, or chronic venous insufficiency. It can sometimes be made worse by stress, smoking, or the cold. Regardless of which type of PAD you have, it is important to comply with treatment recommendations made by your doctor. If you have PAD, a podiatrist can help you maintain your foot health. 

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 The Podiatry Center, PC. 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 our office located in Millburn, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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