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Intermittent Claudication: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, and Treatment

Intermittent claudication causes muscle pain during your activity and ceases when you take a break. It typically shows blood flow issues such as peripheral arterial disease. The problem may worsen in time, leading to serious health issues and complications. However, the condition is typically treatable in the early stages of diagnosis.

What is Intermittent Claudication?

Claudication occurs when there is insufficient flow of blood to muscles when exercising. Most of the time, it is felt in the legs following walking at a particular speed and for a specific amount of time, based upon the degree of issue. The condition is also known as intermittent claudication since the pain isn’t always continuous. It starts during exercise and is then cured by the need to rest. As the claudication gets worse but dis, comfort can occur even in relaxation. Claudication technically is a disease manifestation, usually peripheral artery disease, which is the narrowing of the arteries in the limbs, which restricts blood flow.

Signs and Symptoms of Intermittent Claudication

Claudication refers to muscle pain caused by a deficiency of oxygen, triggered by activity and eased through rest.

These symptoms are:

  • Aches, pain, or fatigue in muscles at any time these muscles are utilized
  • Calves pain and thighs, buttocks or feet, or hips
  • Less frequently, discomfort in the shoulders, forearms, and biceps.
  • Pain that eases quickly after having a rest
  • The pain can get worse over time. It’s possible to be numb when you are at the moment of rest.

The signs or symptoms of peripheral arterial disease, generally in more advanced stages, may include:

  • Cool skin
  • Chronic, intense pain that gradually progresses into numbness
  • Skin discolouration
  • Wounds that won’t heal

Speak to your doctor for advice if you have problems with your arms or legs while exercising. The condition can trigger an unending cycle of an increase in cardiovascular disease. Exercising can be painful, and the absence of exercise leads to lower health.

What Causes Intermittent Claudication?

The most common cause of claudication is signed peripheral artery disease. These are big vessels that supply blood to the arms and legs.

Peripheral artery disease results from damage to an artery that reduces blood flow within the leg or arm. If you’re sitting at home, blood circulation is typically sufficient. However, if you’re in a high-intensity situation, your muscles don’t receive adequate oxygen, nutrients, and oxygen to function effectively and stay healthy.

The damage to the peripheral arteries is typically due to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the accumulation of cholesterol, fats, and other substances on the artery wall. This accumulation is known as plaque. The plaque may cause vessels to narrow, thereby preventing blood flow. The plaque could also explode and cause blood clots.

Risk Factors for Intermittent Claudication

Risk factors for claudication are:

  • You may be older than 50 if you smoke cigarettes or suffer from diabetes
  • Older than 70 years old
  • Diabetic kidney diseases
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Treatment, Management, and Prevention of Intermittent Claudication

The condition may not be recognized since many people view the discomfort as an unwelcome, normal part of ageing. Many people lower their activities to minimize discomfort. Claudication is a diagnosis, and peripheral artery disease is based on a thorough review of symptoms, physical examination, skin conditions on the legs, and tests to determine blood flow.

The main goals of treating claudication and peripheral artery disease are to ease pain and control the risk factors contributing to blood vessels and heart disease.

Exercise is an essential component of treatment for claudication. Exercise helps reduce pain, improves exercise duration, boosts the vascular system’s health within the affected limbs, and helps with weight management and overall health.

The recommended walking programs for you include:

  • Continue walking until you experience moderate discomfort or as far as possible.
  • Rest to ease discomfort
  • Walking to the next destination
  • Repetition of the walk-rest-walk for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Walking at least three times a week

The use of medication can be used to treat the condition:

Consult your physician regarding supplements or medications you should not consume when prescribed a treatment.

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