Peripheral artery disease (also called peripheral arterial disease) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs.
When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your legs or arms — usually your legs — don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This may cause symptoms, such as leg pain when walking (claudication).
Peripheral artery disease is also likely to be a sign of a buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition may narrow your arteries and reduce blood flow to your legs and, occasionally, your arms.
While many people with peripheral artery disease have mild or no symptoms, some people have leg pain when walking (claudication).
Claudication symptoms include muscle pain or cramping in your legs or arms that’s triggered by activity, such as walking, but disappears after a few minutes of rest. The location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery. Calf pain is the most common location.
The severity of claudication varies widely, from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Severe claudication can make it hard for you to walk or do other types of physical activity.