Our legs work hard to help us stand, walk, and jump. We don't pay much attention to them until they start to cramp, hurt, or become stiff and swollen. This discomfort, however, doesn't have to slow you down.
Joseph Caruso, MD, an independently practicing vascular surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and with Advanced Vascular Surgery of Arlington, PLLC, is an authority on vascular disease.
"Leg pain can affect just about anyone. It has many different causes and may be spine and nerve (neurological) or joint and muscle (musculoskeletal) in origin. Leg pain that is caused by poor blood flow in the arteries of the legs typically causes pain with exercise and is relieved with rest," Dr. Caruso says. "The pain is the result of poor blood flow to the exercising muscles and it occurs with exercise and exertion. It's the same reason that patients with coronary artery disease get chest pain."
Dr. Caruso explains, "The vascular system carries blood to vital organs throughout the body, and a weakness of the blood vessel wall or impaired or blocked circulation of the blood can lead to extreme pain, tissue loss, and in some cases limb loss."
Occupations that involve a lot of walking, standing for long periods of time, climbing, and heavy lifting can place a high demand on your extremities. Getting a vascular screening can help uncover conditions in the body's vascular system that can be treated effectively.
Warning signs that let you know it's time to see your doctor include: swelling or persistent pain in the legs, numbness in your arms or legs, unsightly varicose veins, and skin ulcers.
It's important to have an accurate diagnosis early to improve and maximize your treatment and recovery. Depending on the cause, treatment may include exercise and lifestyle modifications, minimally invasive procedures such as angiography and angioplasty, and in more severe cases bypass surgery for the blocked arteries in the legs.
If your legs are sore or aching, take the first step to walk away from leg pain and call today for a vascular screening.
To find a physician on the Methodist Mansfield medical staff, call toll-free 877-637-4297 or visit www.methodisthealthsystem.org and click on "find a physician."
For more about cardiovascular services at Methodist Mansfield, visit www.MethodistHealthSystem.org/Cardiovascular.
Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.