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What is claudication?

Claudication, or intermittent claudication, is cramping in the leg or leg pain that occurs during exercise, especially walking, and typically stops at rest. This pain is caused by blockages in the blood vessels leading to the legs that prevent enough blood from traveling through the blood vessel - a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The pain from claudication can be debilitating to quality of life. Additionally, the underlying peripheral artery disease causing the pain should be treated through lifestyle changes and medication and sometimes an angioplasty procedure to unblock specific blockages. Angioplasty involves insertion of a thin tube called a catheter into the blood vessel and positioning a balloon on the tip of the catheter so that the blockage is pushed against the blood vessel walls when the balloon is expanded. Without treatment, peripheral artery disease can occasionally progress and result in amputation of the feet or legs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.