Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Types of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by reduced blood flow to the lower limbs. This can cause symptoms such as leg cramps, pain, fatigue, numbness, skin discoloration, and foot wounds. There are two types of PAD. Occlusive PAD occurs when the blood vessels are blocked. This can be caused by the arteries thickening and hardening over time (atherosclerosis), an excess buildup of lymph fluid (lymphedema), blood clots forming in the veins of the leg muscles (deep vein thrombosis), or narrowed carotid arteries (carotid artery stenosis). Functional PAD occurs when the blood vessels are not blocked, but rather malfunctioning due to spasms. This can be seen in cases of varicose veins, Raynaud’s disease, and chronic venous insufficiency. Functional PAD is typically made worse or triggered by environmental or lifestyle factors, such as exposure to cold, excessive stress, and smoking. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PAD, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Maria Buitrago, DPM of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.


Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet

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