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Symptoms of PAD

If you have PAD, you may feel aches, pains, cramps, numbness or muscle fatigue during exercise. These feelings get better or go away when you stop exercising. When you exercise, your blood flow may not meet your body's need for extra oxygen.

When the blockages are large enough that the blood flow is nearly or totally blocked, you may feel pain, even during rest. Without a constant supply of oxygen, tissue below the blockage can be permanently damaged.


Treatment is necessary to prevent the loss of your foot or part of your leg.

There are many symptoms of PAD. You may have:

  • an aching, cramping, tired feeling or numbness, tingling or pain in your feet, toes, legs or buttocks after walking (The pain goes away after a few minutes.)
  • leg pain during the night or during rest that goes away if you hang your leg over the edge of your bed or put your leg up on a footstool
  • blue or red discoloration of your foot or leg when sitting or standing
  • a wound or sore on your foot that does not heal
  • cold feet and cold or numb calves
  • dry and scaly feet and legs
  • less hair growth on your legs
  • no pulse in your foot
  • impotence (in men).



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts