Doc­tors say leg pain could be stroke warn­ing sign

Central and North Burnett Times - - HEALTHY LIVING -

MANY peo­ple shrug off leg pain when they walk as a nor­mal part of age­ing.

How­ever, it can be a sign of some­thing much more se­ri­ous, ex­perts have warned.

Doc­tors said leg pain could, in some cases, be an early warn­ing sign of a deadly stroke or heart at­tack. This is be­cause cramps can be a marker of PAD (pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease), which can put heart and brain health at risk.

Peo­ple with PAD feel pain be­cause of the fatty de­posits in the ar­ter­ies of the leg that block blood flow to the mus­cles, as well as the ar­ter­ies sup­port­ing the heart and brain.

This makes a per­son with PAD far more likely to have a heart at­tack or a stroke than some­one with­out the con­di­tion. Pro­fes­sor David Newby, a British Heart Foun­da­tion Pro­fes­sor of Car­di­ol­ogy, said: “If you get a grip­ping, cramp­ing sen­sa­tion in your calves when you are walk­ing, it might be worth see­ing your doc­tor, as that can be a marker of PAD. It’s most com­mon in smok­ers and peo­ple who have di­a­betes.”

Symp­toms in­clude pain in the calves, thighs, hips or but­tocks, but only in mus­cles rather than the joints.

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