Many people know that with heart or cerebral vascular disease, you can have a heart attack or stroke, but they are not aware that PAD, too, can have a dramatic effect on quality of life. To get an idea of how disabling PAD can be, imagine if the arteries in your legs were having angina or if your foot were having a stroke.
The majority of people do not go from having no symptoms to severe vascular pain overnight. However, without an index of suspicion for PAD, most confuse the leg pain — and cramping caused by PAD — with something else. One common example is neurogenic claudication. In this case, leg pain is due to narrowing of the back’s spinal canal (called stenosis).