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  • Writer's pictureBecky Branton-Griemann

Do you know what causes Angina?

You probably are familiar with the terms angina and heart

attack, which are related to a blockage of blood flow to

the heart. That same sort of blockage can occur elsewhere

in the body, depriving the limbs (the peripheral parts of

the body) of oxygen and nutrients. Left untreated, the

disease can lead to amputation.

Healthy peripheral arteries are smooth and unobstructed,

allowing blood to freely provide the legs with oxygen,

glucose and other nutrients. As we age, peripheral arteries

build up plaque, a sticky substance made up mostly of fat

and cholesterol. Plaque narrows the passageway within

the arteries and causes them to become stiff.

A moderate blockage in one of arteries in a major leg

muscle, such as the calf or thigh, can cause pain when

walking. This pain can be temporarily decreased with

rest, but will act up again with more walking or activity.

Lower extremity pain, similar to angina, is called

claudication by medical providers. The pain itself is not

limb-threatening but it is a sign that the person should

make lifestyle changes and see a doctor. Examples of

possible treatments include: smoking cessation, daily

exercise and medical management.

Visit our website to learn more.

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