Intermittent Claudication

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Intermittent Claudication is cramping of the legs.

What is Intermittent Claudication?

Intermittent claudication is the tight cramp-like pain felt typically in the calf muscle on walking when the blood supply to the lower limb is limited. 

 

The word is derived from the Latin verb, claudere, to limp.  The severity of the claudication is defined by the distance walked before onset of the pain.  On resting or slowing down, the pain passes off within a few minutes.  Walking up hill, carrying a heavy bag or rushing all shorten the claudication distance.

 

Although unpleasant, intermittent claudication is a relatively benign condition as far as the leg is concerned.  Most patients either stay the same or improve and only a small minority (5%) progress to critical limb ischaemia.  Diabetics and patients who continue to smoke, however, have a worse prognosis.

 

 

What part of the body does it affect?

Intermittent claudication affects the lower legs and feet. 

What are the symptoms?

Those suffering from intermittent claudication experience tight cramp-like pains, felt typically in the calf muscle while walking.

What are the treatment options?

Walking and living a healthy lifestyle (exercising, not smoking etc) will help reduce the risk of intermittent claudication. 

 

Is the condition preventable? If so, how?

Prevention is through good cardiovascular health: diet, not smoking and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol. 

What should I do next?

If leg pains are starting to restrict your lifestyle we would be very happy to help and advise. 

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