The most common form of PAD is caused by atherosclerosis . The arteries most commonly affected are those that carry blood to your legs. Lack of blood to these areas causes the symptoms associated with PAD.

Plaque Blocking an Artery

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Calf or thigh pain with exercise is termed claudication. Claudication is a sign of PAD. The discomfort may consist of cramping, limping, or a feeling of heaviness, weakness, or fatigue in the legs. Symptoms of claudication usually begin after walking a certain distance—such as a block or two—and end after resting for the same length each time.

Many people will have no symptoms at all. In those that have them, PAD may cause:

    
  • Numbness of the legs or feet at rest
  • Cold legs or feet
  • Muscle pain in the thighs, calves, or feet
  • Loss of hair on the lower extremities
  • Paleness or blueness of the legs or feet
  • Weak or absent pulse in the extremity
  • Walking troubles
  • Foot wounds that heal slowly