The organ walls and most of our body are made from muscles. When any muscular part is in action, the muscle cells constantly undergo alternative contraction and relaxation. The energy that muscles need comes from cellular respiration. To facilitate cellular respiration, blood supplies one of the ingredients, i.e. oxygen. The blood vessels attached to the muscle cells maintain the blood supply to ensure the muscle fibres receive an ample amount of oxygen so that aerobic respiration can take place.
However, more energy is required when you work up the muscles for long periods. But the blood vessels cannot supply oxygen to the muscles at such a fast speed which is why anaerobic respiration occurs. Due to this, lactic acid is produced which accumulates in the muscle cells.
This is why you will often feel pain in the muscles when you walk for long or exercise at a fast pace. This is a normal phenomenon where muscles do not receive enough blood supply. However, when the blood vessels fail to supply blood and oxygen to the muscles even in normal conditions, the condition is known as PAD or peripheral artery disease.
What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease is a common problem. However, often people mistake this to be normal muscle strain or excessive muscular stress. While the initial stage of the disease is not serious, the same cannot be said for the advanced stage. This is why learning more about the symptoms is crucial so that you can identify if you are suffering from PAD or not.
In the section below, we have discussed the major symptoms that you should know concerning peripheral artery disease symptoms.
- You can see the colour of your legs changing. Sometimes, as the initial stage starts progressing towards the advance stage, you will find certain parts of the leg becoming blue in colour due to lack of blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscle cells.
- Weakness in the legs is also another common symptom that you might have to face due to peripheral artery disease. It mainly happens because of the lack of oxygen supply and slowed rate of energy production due to aerobic or anaerobic respiration.
- When you will walk or exercise vigorously, you will soon find the muscles paining a lot because the muscle cells will not get enough oxygen supply. As a result, more lactic acid will accumulate in the muscles and cause pain.
- Changes in the looks of your legs are some of the most common symptoms that you might have to experience when you suffer from peripheral artery disease. For instance, you may find excessive hair loss from the legs or appearance of shiny skin at the top.
How can you reduce the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?
There are ways in which you can reduce the symptoms of peripheral artery disease. In this below section, we will shed light on the ways you can get rid of the symptoms and carry on with your daily activities.
Get proper rest every day
You should take sufficient rest to ensure blood can flow easily through the vessels and reach the muscle cells. While doing household chores, work for fifteen minutes, and then take rest for five minutes. Ensure to straighten your legs so that blood flow can happen easily. Once the pain subsides, you can start working again. Similarly, when you are walking, give some rest to the legs and then continue with the same.
Do not overwork the muscles
When you workout, ensure you do not overwork the muscles because that will cause lactic buildup. It will further worsen the pain, which is why you should perform the right exercises that ‘will improve the blood flow and reduce plaque buildup. If that’s not the case, you might have to suffer from further problems like weaknesses in the leg muscles.
Do not immobilise your limbs completely
Often people think that if they do not move their legs, they will not feel pain. However, that is a solution. Instead, you need to workout so that blood can flow properly and won’t cause muscle pain. Besides, ensuring that you remain mobile will also help reduce muscle strains so that you won’t face any further difficulty.
Do opt for cold compression to reduce pain
Sometimes your leg muscle can swell up or pain due to inflammation. You can apply cold compression to get instant relief. Cold compression can relax the blood vessels, and due to dilation, blood flow will be restored.
Many people are currently living with peripheral artery disease. Although it is not as dangerous as some may think, the disease can disrupt your daily life activities. This is why you must take care of the pain you feel in your legs and try some of the above steps to ensure you can live a life without worries.
If you are suffering from PAD, contact a doctor at Max Healthcare to get proper treatment.