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Q: When I walk a certain distance, I have cramping in my legs. What may cause this?

A: This sounds like PAD (peripheral arterial disease), AKA poor circulation in the legs. If PAD is not treated, it can be a risk factor for amputation. If there are blockages in the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the feet, the amount of blood flow is restricted. During exercise, leg muscles require more blood and oxygen. If they cannot get enough, the muscles will begin to ache. This temporarily improves with rest. Many signs of this can be found on the feet, and simple tests in the office can tell me if you need to be referred to a circulation specialist for further treatment.

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