Take Care of your Leg Pain!

Most leg pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints or bones or in muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. Some types of leg pain can be traced to problems in your lower spine. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation.
Call for immediate medical help or go to the emergency room if you:
-Have a leg injury with a deep cut or exposed bone or tendon
-Are unable to walk or put weight on your leg
-Have pain, swelling, redness or warmth in your calf
-Hear a popping or grinding sound at the time of a leg injury
See your doctor as soon as possible if you have:
-Signs of infection, such as redness, warmth or tenderness, or you have a fever greater than100 F (37.8 C)
-A leg that is swollen, pale or unusually cool
-Calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting (such as a long car trip or plane ride)
-Swelling in both legs along with breathing problems
-Any serious leg symptoms that develop for no apparent reason
Schedule an office visit if:
-You have pain during or after walking
-You have swelling in both legs

-Your pain gets worse
-Your symptoms don’t improve after a few days of home treatment
-You have painful varicose veins

Tests and Diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease

Some of the tests your doctor may rely on to diagnose peripheral artery disease are:
-Physical exam. Your doctor may find signs of PAD during a physical examination, such as a weak or absent pulse below a narrowed area of your artery, whooshing sounds (bruits) over your arteries that can be heard with a stethoscope, evidence of poor wound healing in the area where your blood flow is restricted, and decreased blood pressure in your affected limb.
-Ankle-brachial index (ABI). This is a common test used to diagnose PAD. It compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm. To get a blood pressure reading, your doctor uses a regular blood pressure cuff and a special ultrasound device to evaluate blood pressure and flow. You may walk on a treadmill and have readings taken before and immediately after exercising to capture the severity of the narrowed arteries during walking.
-Ultrasound. Special ultrasound imaging techniques, such as Doppler ultrasound, can help your doctor evaluate blood flow through your blood vessels and identify blocked or narrowed arteries.
-Angiography. By injecting a dye (contrast material) into your blood vessels, this test allows your doctor to view blood flow through your arteries as it happens. Your doctor is able to trace the flow of the contrast material using imaging techniques, such as X-ray imaging or procedures called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or computerized tomography angiography (CTA). Catheter angiography is a more invasive procedure that involves guiding a catheter through an artery in your groin to the affected area and injecting the dye that way. Although invasive, this type of angiography allows for simultaneous diagnosis and treatment — finding the narrowed area of a blood vessel and then widening it with an angioplasty procedure or administering medication to improve blood flow.
-Blood tests. A sample of your blood can be used to measure your cholesterol and triglycerides and to check for diabetes.