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Signs and Symptoms

Many people don’t notice anything at first, but you may begin to have symptoms as peripheral artery disease (PAD) progresses.

Not enough blood flowing to the leg muscles in your calf or thigh can cause pain or cramping in the legs while walking that gets better when you stop. Some people with PAD say they have heaviness in the legs, weakness, or a feeling that their legs may give out.

Over time, people with PAD might limit what they do so they don't feel pain. They might walk more slowly or even use a cane. With PAD, it’s normal to have some pain when you’re moving around. In fact, exercising to the point of mild to moderate discomfort has benefits. However, the pain should not be severe, and it should go away when you stop exercising.

In later stages of PAD, you may have:

  • Pain or cramping in your limbs while at rest
  • Cool or discolored skin
  • Wounds that don’t heal, or heal slowly
  • Sudden loss of blood supply that can lead to surgery to remove a leg or even death
  • Last Edited 08/06/2021