Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD, Peripheral Artery Disease, Peripheral Arterial Disease, PAD)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

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Peripheral Vascular Disease Symptoms: Muscle Pain

Muscle pain originates in any of the muscles in the body. The medical term for muscle pain is myalgia. Muscle pain may arise due to:

  • injury or overexertion,
  • infections of the soft tissues, or
  • inflammatory conditions.

A number of conditions can be associated with generalized aches and pain, such as influenza, that are perceived to be muscle pain. Muscle pain can be localized to one muscle group or diffuse, involving multiple muscle groups. Muscle pain due to injury or overuse is most commonly localized to one area. Depending upon the cause, muscle pain can be mild or severe and debilitating. Muscle pain is the hallmark symptom of some chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Related symptoms that can occur with muscle pain are tenderness, swelling, redness, or fever.

Picture of Peripheral Vascular Disease

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Peripheral vascular disease facts

  • The term peripheral vascular disease is commonly used to refer to peripheral artery disease (PAD), meaning narrowing or occlusion by atherosclerotic plaques of arteries outside of the heart and brain.
  • Risk factors for peripheral artery disease include elevated blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, hypertension, inactivity, and overweight/obesity.
  • A small percentage of people over the age of 50 are believed to suffer from peripheral artery disease.
  • The symptoms of peripheral artery disease depend upon the location and extent of the blocked arteries. The most common symptom of peripheral artery disease is intermittent claudication, manifested by pain (usually in the calf) that occurs while walking and dissipates at rest.
  • Doctors may use radiologic imaging techniques including Doppler ultrasound and angiography to aid in the diagnosis of peripheral artery disease.
  • Peripheral artery disease can be treated by lifestyle alterations, medications, angioplasty and related treatments, or surgery. A combination of treatment methods may be used.
  • Complications of peripheral artery disease include sores that do not heal, ulcers, gangrene, or infections in the extremities. In rare cases, amputation may be necessary.
  • Having peripheral artery disease usually indicates the potential for arterial disease involving the coronary arteries within the brain.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/3/2015
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