Leg Pain with Walking



Many people suffer from pain with walking. When it is related to problems in circulation to your legs, it is called Claudication and generally presents as cramping of your buttock, thigh, or calf after a certain distance is walked.

This will happen almost every time you try to walk that distance, but will go away in under a minute if you stop walking and take a rest. Then you can walk again, for about the same distance. It does not happen if you are just sitting or standing. This occurs because of the build-up of plaque, or fatty deposits , on the inside of your blood vessels.

The main risk factors for this are cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and advanced age. If the plaque builds up in the arteries in your abdomen or pelvis, one can develop cramping in the buttocks or thighs. If the plaque builds up in the arteries in your groin or thigh, the cramping occurs in the back of your calves. This type of plaque build-up, or hardening of the arteries is also a sign of a potential problem in your heart arteries and thus of being at increased risk for a heart attack. Therefore, it is important to get this checked out by your primary care doctor and then a vascular surgeon. Of course, leg pain can also be caused by back problems, arthritis, or just getting older. However, if this affects the quality of your daily life and limits your activity, a non-invasive ultrasound can easily rule in or out the presence of an arterial issue.