How will my doctor check if my leg cramps are due to a vascular problem?


To check if a patient's leg cramps are due to vascular problems, first I perform a physical exam that includes special attention to any sign of problems with the arteries and veins. I look for any reduction or asymmetry in arterial pulses or history of claudication. This often manifests as repetitive symptoms of cramping brought on by exercise and relieved by rest.

Depending on the individual's health history and physical exam, I may then perform venous or arterial testing, or both. These circulation tests include Doppler and ultrasound, which are completely noninvasive and painless.

When primary care or other doctors have referred a patient to my office, they have already ruled out thyroid disease, kidney disease, heart disease, abnormalities in blood chemistry and other health issues that could be associated with leg cramping. My task is to determine whether vascular disease is involved.

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