Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness

September is Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness month. Clients in Ocean Pines, Salisbury, Cambridge, and throughout the Eastern Shore can be affected by this condition. We would like to educate our community on the basics of this condition in hopes that it can be recognized and addressed more quickly.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition of the blood vessels in which plaques develop and interfere with oxygen-rich blood flow to the feet and lower legs. Less commonly it can affect the hands in a similar way. When this blood flow is disrupted people often report a deep or throbbing ache in muscles when walking or performing other activities, called Intermittent Claudication. This pain typically goes away with rest, especially with the legs supported. Some other symptoms you or your care provider may notice include: wounds on the foot or toes that heal slower than usual, decreased temperature in the feet or one foot more than the other, and poor hair growth on the legs.

Some factors that may increase your chances for PAD are if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes or if your smoke.

If you orĀ  loved one has a combination of these signs, call your doctor or notify their healthcare professional. Fortunately, PAD can be managed with a combination of diet, physical activity, smoking cessation, and/or medication. If you would like more information about PAD and your treatment options, visit the American Heart Association Peripheral Artery Disease webpage, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s PAD webpage, or contact your medical professional.