PAD: Be Careful of Changes in Your Limbs

The symptoms to look out for with PAD

Is the pain due to age?

There are many reasons for the feet and legs to become painful when walking. It is common for patients to self-diagnose pain as being due to age or to mistake it for another illness, and allow PAD to worsen.

Do not mistake it for another disease

Pain in the feet and legs is easily mistaken for pain while walking due to conditions such as spinal canal stenosis,*1 joint disease, and deep vein thrombosis.*2 Pain caused by PAD is characterized by the inability to walk due to muscle pain after walking a certain distance, but being able to resume walking after resting for a while.
Consult your doctor if you display symptoms of high blood pressure or diabetes, especially if you are prone to arteriosclerosis.

How to distinguish symptoms and their underlying causes

Diseases of the arterial system

Pain due to PAD

Inability to walk due to muscle pain after walking a certain distance, but able to resume walking after resting for a while

Diseases of the bones ・ muscle ・ nervous system

Pain due to spinal canal stenosis

Unable to walk due to muscle pain after walking a certain distance, but able to resume walking after resting for a while in a crouching position.

Pain due to degenerative lumbar spondylosis

Pain from the waist to the buttocks, numbness of feet. Painful when starting to move or when feeling tired and when bending over backwards.

Pain due to sciatica

There is a strong pain and numbness throughout the lower body (waist to the sole of the foot). It usually occurs in one of the legs and often hurts along the outside of the leg. Other causes of pain include fascial lumbago, polymyositis rheumatic, plantar fasciitis, etc.

Diseases of the venous system

Pain due to deep vein thrombosis

Blood flow through the leg is very slow; swollen feet, swelling worsens when standing or sitting. Also, painful when walking because of the slow blood flow.

Traveller's thrombosis (Economy class syndrome)

The official name for economy class syndrome is deep vein thrombosis. It develops due to the formation of a blood clot in the veins of the legs as a result of remaining in the same position for a long period of time. It is an acute which can cause death within an hour if the blood clot travels to the lungs and causes an obstruction. In contrast, PAD develops in the arteries of the feet and legs and progresses gradually.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Economy class syndrome
Location in the body Arteries Veins
Progress Gradual Abrupt
  1. *1Spinal canal stenosis: A condition in which deformation of the spinal canal, through which nerves pass, becomes narrow, applying pressure to nerves, causing numbness and pain.
  2. *2Deep vein thrombosis: A condition in which a blood clot that formed in a vein travels along the blood stream and becomes stuck in a small blood vessel, causing an embolism or other condition. It is most common when sitting without movement for long periods of time, such as when on an airplane, and is therefore also referred to as "economy class syndrome."

Consult your doctor if you experience pain around the waist area and lower limbs.