We live in Connecticut where there is an abundance of natural parks and endless opportunities to engage in recreation. With summer upon us, what better time is there to get outside and enjoy some of the natural beauty Connecticut has to offer?
But, do you ever feel that cramping leg pain is preventing you from enjoying your summer activities? Does it feel like your muscles are starving for oxygen? That may be exactly what’s going on. If your tissues aren’t getting the amount of oxygen they require, they start to cramp. This pain (called claudication) only goes away once you stop whatever activity was causing it (e.g. walking, biking, etc). That doesn’t mean you should stop engaging in physical activity.
Actually, it’s been proven that regimented exercise programs offer substantial relief to people suffering from lower extremity vascular disease, also known as peripheral vascular disease. With time, your blood vessels actually branch out to form additional routes for blood and oxygen to get to these hungry tissues. This process is called collateralization and it can be very effective in relieving some symptoms of vascular disease. Some people however, need a little extra help, and that can be in the form of medication or simple office-based minimally-invasive procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stenting. These procedures are often done within an hour or two and patients get to go home the same day.
“So, who gets peripheral vascular disease? “ Overall, the most well-known risk factors are smoking, elevated cholesterol and/or blood pressure, advancing age and those with a family history of vascular disease. Remember, blood vessels travel throughout the body so if you’ve experienced problems with your heart’s or brain’s vessels, you can very likely have something going on in your legs or elsewhere.
“OK, my symptoms fit the description but how do I know it’s my blood vessels and not something else like my muscles or nerves?” A simple test in one of our many offices, in most cases involving not more than some blood pressure measurement in your legs, is a good start and offers a great amount of information. If further tests or imaging are needed, we can discuss the options and come up with an appropriate plan together.
We at The Vascular Experts can help you tailor a program that best fits your symptoms, and if something more is needed, our Board-Certified surgeons are here to guide you through the process and deliver the best care in Connecticut.
Don’t let pain and cramping interfere with getting the most out of another beautiful New England summer. Call us today!
Please contact Dr. Ranaudo at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
Jeffery M. Ranaudo, MD, MS
Jeffrey M. Ranaudo, MD, MS, is Board-certified in general surgery and a Board-eligible vascular surgeon at Southern Connecticut Vascular Center. Read more»