Mention leg pain and most people immediately think of injured muscles and ligaments. But leg pain is a common symptom of several potentially serious vascular conditions. Madaiah Revana, MD, FACC, and the professional team at Humble Cardiology Associates specialize in treating the vascular conditions responsible for leg pain. To get relief from the pain and prevent serious complications, call one of the offices in Humble and Houston, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Vascular conditions cause leg pain and other symptoms by interfering with blood circulation in the arteries and veins that carry blood through your legs. The vascular problems most often responsible for leg pain include:
PAD occurs when cholesterol attaches to the artery wall, accumulates, and forms plaque. As plaque enlarges, the blood vessel narrows, which in turn blocks blood flow. The primary symptom of PAD is claudication, which is leg pain and cramping that occurs when you walk and disappears when you rest.
One-way valves in your leg veins ensure that blood flows up the legs and returns to your heart. When the valves fail to work, blood moves backward and accumulates in the vein. This condition, chronic venous insufficiency, causes leg pain that’s usually worse when you stand still and feels better when your leg is elevated.
Thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory condition that causes blood clots in your veins. When a clot forms in a vein deep in your leg — deep vein thrombosis — it can cause sudden, severe leg pain.
Deep vein thrombosis may lead to a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism if the clot breaks free and travels to your lungs. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling dizzy are signs of pulmonary embolism.
When vascular problems go untreated, they often cause additional symptoms or problems such as:
Open wounds, called venous stasis ulcers, are a severe problem because they’re hard to heal and can lead to a skin or bone infection.
Your treatment depends on the underlying cause of your leg pain. Deep vein thrombosis is treated with anticoagulants or medication to dissolve the clot quickly.
Treatment for peripheral artery disease includes lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stopping smoking, and weight loss) and medications to thin your blood or treat problems that contribute to the disease, such as high cholesterol. In severe cases, you may need angioplasty and stent placement to open the blockage and restore blood flow.
If you’re diagnosed with chronic venous insufficiency, your treatment plan may include compression stockings, wound care, or a procedure to remove varicose veins.
If you have leg pain that’s not related to overuse or injury, call Humble Cardiology Associates or schedule an appointment online.