Leg Pain at Night Could Be a Warning Sign of a Major Vascular Disease
Arterial disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. The most common type of arterial disease is an occlusion or obstruction in the arteries supplying blood to a part of your body. These arteries play a significant function in moving blood from the heart to organs and other parts of the body, like the legs and feet. In addition, over 8 million people in the U.S. have PAD (or peripheral artery disease) due to plaque buildup in the peripheral arteries. This is why you should contact a vascular physician right away if you’re dealing with pain in your arms, legs, or lower extremities at night.
Patients with PAD in their legs may experience pain during the night or rest. These symptoms can be caused by a lack of blood flow to the leg. If you are experiencing leg pain at night, it’s essential to see a vascular specialist. However, other signs may indicate a more severe problem.
The main indicator of PAD is pain during exertion and symptoms subside right after the patient rests. Please see a doctor if you have this symptom.
Numbness or weakness in your legs
Legs might be numb or weak at night as the disease progresses because circulation to the extremities is decreasing. The nerves in your feet might also feel numb or tingly, and you might have a hard time standing up and walking. Most patients with chronic leg pain will experience this.
Swelling in your legs or feet
If you have a lot of swelling in your legs, there’s likely an early blockage in the arteries at the level of your femoral arteries. Because the femoral artery typically supplies blood to the thighs, this can lead to pain such as burning or stinging at night or when you run or walk. You might also experience numbness and tingling in your feet due to loss of circulation to these areas. The blockage may cause blood flow to be slow causing swollen feet, swelling worsens when standing or sitting. Also, it is painful when walking because of the slow blood flow.
A cold feeling in your lower leg or foot
When circulation decreases, you may have difficulty warming up your lower legs and feet, especially during the night. Sometimes the skin feels cold to the touch. In such a situation, your doctor might also check your feet while they’re at rest by doing a foot check during the resting phase of your heartbeat. Cold hands and feet are also common symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD), which occurs when poor blood flow in the arteries supplies blood to your heart muscle.
Skin discoloration or sores
You might notice that skin on your legs and feet discolor or become red, purple, blue, black, or dark yellow. This can happen due to a lack of oxygen supply in these areas. You may also notice this discoloration when you remove your socks after some time. Sores can develop due to the lack of blood supply to the affected area if they aren’t treated early. You may have painful blisters as well, which cause swelling and redness around them.
Overall, many signs and symptoms can occur while a person suffers from this ailment. The fastest way to know is for your primary care to perform a simple non-invasive Ankle Brachial test to check blood flow of the lower extremities. Luckily, many medications and minimally-invasive vascular procedures can correct artery blockages to ensure proper blood flow to the arms and the rest of the body. This procedure requires no hospital stays, no open surgeries, and no scarring. It requires a small, needle sized incision with no trauma to the patient.
The best way to prevent yourself from being subjected to these symptoms is to make sure you know your risk factors for artery disease (hypertension, diabetes, smoking habits, age, etc.). If you experience any of these symptoms, we highly recommend that you schedule an appointment with your doctor or medical professional. You can also visit https://www.cvmus.com/ for more information and schedule an appointment with one of the accredited vascular physicians.
Center for Vascular Medicine
Dr #104 Greenbelt MD 20770
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