Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.)

Living with and Treating P.A.D.

Caring for Yourself

If you have P.A.D., you may feel pain in your calf or thigh muscles after walking. Try to take a break and allow the pain to ease before walking again. Over time, this may increase the distance that you can walk without pain. Talk with your doctor about taking part in a supervised exercise program. This type of program has been shown to reduce P.A.D. symptoms.

If you have P.A.D., you should check your feet and toes regularly for sores or possible infections. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well. Maintain good foot hygiene and have professional medical treatment for corns, bunions, or calluses.

See your doctor for checkups as he or she advises. If you have P.A.D. but don't have symptoms, you should still see your doctor regularly. Take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.

Treatment Can Help

Treatment for P.A.D. may slow or stop the progress of the disease, reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and reduce the risk of complications.

Treatments include lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery or procedures. The exact treatment you get is based on your signs and symptoms, risk factors, and results from a physical exam and tests. Researchers continue to explore new therapies for P.A.D.

Lifestyle Changes

Treatment of P.A.D. often includes making long-lasting lifestyle changes, such as

Two examples of healthy eating plans are Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

Lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay P.A.D. They may also prevent related problems such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA is sometimes called a "mini-stroke."


Medications are sometimes used to treat P.A.D. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to

Surgery and Other Procedures

In some people, lifestyle changes are not enough to control P.A.D. Surgery and other procedures may be needed. For example, your doctor may recommend bypass grafting surgery if blood flow in your limb is blocked or nearly blocked.