Introduction to Peripheral Artery Disease

Do your legs hurt when you're walking or gardening but feel better when you're at rest? If so, do yourself a favor and get your leg pain checked out. You may have peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a life-threatening disease—but many people don't even think about it. Maybe that's because PAD often has no symptoms, so it goes undetected. Those who do have symptoms often think their leg pain is just part of "getting older," so they don't seek treatment.

If you've been diagnosed with PAD, also known as peripheral vascular disease, or PVD, it's important to know you have a higher risk for stroke and heart disease. But there's a lot you can do to reduce these risks.

Your best bet: Partner with your doctor. He or she can recommend lifestyle changes and prescribe the appropriate medications and treatments to help you stay healthy. We're here to make that effort easier, with important information you need to know to live an active life if you've been diagnosed with PAD.