Many people can
manage the symptoms of PAD and stop the progression of the disease
through lifestyle changes. To stabilize or improve PAD:
This is a key component. In fact, success in treatment is often measured
by how far a person can walk without getting intermittent claudication.
It may seem contradictory that the action causing your pain is vital to
treating it. But proper exercise can condition your muscles to use
oxygen more efficiently. Your doctor can help you develop an appropriate
exercise plan. He or she may even refer you to a claudication exercise
rehabilitation program in your area.
Smoking contributes to constriction and damage of your arteries and is a
significant risk factor for the development and worsening of PAD.
Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to reduce the
progression of the blockage and reduce your risk of complications.
Eat a healthy diet
and control your cholesterol.
A heart-healthy diet can help control your blood pressure and
cholesterol levels, which can contribute to atherosclerosis. If you
require cholesterol-lowering medications, make sure you take them every
Complementary and alternative medicine
suggest that ginkgo may allow people with intermittent claudication to
walk longer distances with less pain. However, this herbal remedy can
cause bleeding when taken in high doses, and it doesn't pair well with
anti-platelet medications, which are commonly prescribed to people with
PAD. Talk to your doctor if you're considering taking ginkgo for relief
from leg pain.