Peripheral vascular disease is a disorder where an individual's blood circulation is impaired because the blood vessels outside of their brain and heart become increasingly narrowed, experience spasms, or become obstructed. Functional peripheral vascular disease occurs when the structure of the blood vessels has not become physically damaged but has become narrowed from changes in temperature or impulses from the brain. Organic peripheral vascular disease occurs when the structure of the blood vessels is damaged or altered as the result of tissue injury, inflammation processes, or plaque accumulation. The use of certain drugs, emotional stress, cold temperatures, operating vibrating machinery, high blood pressure, certain types of infections, smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes may all cause the development of peripheral vascular disease. Diagnosis is made using doppler ultrasound, MRI, CT angiography, and ankle-brachial index. Treatment involves the use of medications to improve blood flow and or surgery in severe cases.
Several symptoms are indicative of peripheral vascular disease. Learn about them now.
An individual who experiences claudication may be affected by peripheral vascular disease. Claudication is a type of deep pain that forms in the buttocks, calves, or thighs when an individual is engaging in physical activity. Most affected individuals describe claudication as a slow but progressive cramping pain that comes on when engaging in physical activity. Claudication is usually alleviated by resting and staying off of the legs. Peripheral artery disease is the most common cause of claudication. Peripheral vascular disease causes arteries that supply the main tissues of the legs to become constricted or obstructed, and when this blockage or constriction occurs in the individual's abdominal aorta, it can cause them to experience claudication in their buttock tissues. When the obstruction or constriction occurs in an individual's superficial femoral artery or common femoral artery, it can cause them to experience claudication in the thigh tissues. Constriction or obstruction form peripheral vascular disease that occurs in a patient's popliteal artery or lower superficial femoral artery causes claudication to occur in the calf.
Learn more about the warning signs of peripheral vascular disease now.