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Doctor insights on: Can You Tell Me How Sciatic Leg Pain Is Different From Leg Claudication

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Can you tell me how sciatic leg pain is different from leg claudication?

Can you tell me how sciatic leg pain is different from leg claudication?

Nerve vs. Blood Flow: Sciatic pain is due to compression and inflammation of the nerve roots which give rise to the sciatic nerve. It comes on at rest while sitting and the pain usually starts in the buttocks and radiates down the leg. Claudication pain is due to blockages in the arteries and results in leg muscle cramping with exercise. This resolves with rest. An arterial ultrasound can help differentiate. Read more

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Dr. Jerry Light
76 Doctors shared insights

Leg Claudication (Definition)

Discomfort in legs due to decreased blood flow, ...Read more


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My mother has leg claudication. What should I tell her?

My mother has leg claudication. What should I tell her?

Vascular evaluation: Claudication is a sign of decreased blood flow to a leg. It does not put her at immediate risk of losing her leg, but should be assessed by a vascular surgeon. If it is mild/moderate, it can be treated with medications, exercise, and not smoking. If it is more severe, she may be a candidate for endovascular (minimally invasive) or open surgical intervention. Read more

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Can you tell me if there are exercises I can do to improve my leg claudication?

Can you tell me if there are exercises I can do to improve my leg claudication?

Regular Walking: Supervised daily walking programs have been proven to improve the distance claudicants can walk before they develop pain. Read more

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Can you tell me if there are exercises I can do to improve my leg claudication?

Can you tell me if there are exercises I can do to improve my leg claudication?

Start with walking: Supervised walking (30 minutes, 3 or more times/ week) will do as well for claudication as interventions such as angioplasty and stenting. Start with walking, and expand to other aerobic regimens as you can tolerate them. Read more

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How can I tell if my l side sciatic px is from piriformis syndrome or herniated disk? The pain intensity varies & at time only in my l low back/buttock. When I have leg pain to my left foot goes cold.

How can I tell if my l side sciatic px is from piriformis syndrome or herniated disk? The pain intensity varies & at time only in my l low back/buttock. When I have leg pain to my left foot goes cold.

Sometimes: It's very difficult to differentiate between those two. A good physical exam and history necessary. Avoid positions that worse the pain. An MRI sometimes necessary to r/o hnp. Ice, rest and stretching exercises will improved a piriformis syndrome. Also the use of nsaids meds sometimes indicated. Can take long. I went through ps symptoms in the past. Good luck. Read more

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Could smoking make my leg claudication worse?

Could smoking make my leg claudication worse?

Absolutely: Smoking causes the process of progressive deposition of cholesterol / trigycerides in your arteries to be accelerated about 10 times faster than without smoking. In addition, your blood will clot faster (making treatment results worse if continued) and causes the arteries to constrict. All of these are added to the risk of lung and other cancers. Read more

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How does alcohol affect leg claudication?

Decreases risk: Several studies have shown a protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption towards claudication. Men who drank 1-2 drinks/day and women who drank 0.5-1 drinks/day had a lower risk of claudication. Read more

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What is the treatment for leg claudication?

What is the treatment for leg claudication?

Stop walking: The initial treatment for leg claudication is to stop walking on the painful leg. Increased fluid intake, an asprin, NSAID or other blood thinning medication may be appropriate. Al leg ultrasound may be prudent and sometime atherosclerotic or thombisis medication may be necessary. This pain should be evaluated by your healthcare provider. Read more

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Could smoking weed worsen my leg claudication?

Yes: Yes, even smoking of marijuana has been shown to have adverse effects on blood vessels. There are debates about this, but the official stance by the society of vascular surgery is that it does adversely affect blood vessels. Read more

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Can leg claudication affect my sexual performance?

Can leg claudication affect my sexual performance?

Depends: On whether you use your legs during sex. Certainly, blockage of the arteries to the legs can be associated with blockage of the arteries to the penis. Viagra (sildenafil) and similar drugs dilate these arteries compensating for partial blockage allowing for erection. Read more

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Can certain shoes help with leg claudication while exercising?

Can certain shoes help with leg claudication while exercising?

No: If you have true "claudication" (which is muscle cramping from poor circulation), then shoes will not prevent symptoms. Regular exercises will help improve the distance you can walk before pain sets in. Read more

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If you have leg claudication, will you eventually have something similar in your arms?

If you have leg claudication, will you eventually have something similar in your arms?

Typically not: Claudication most commonly affects the legs. Occlusive disease can develop in the arms but symptoms are much less common. If exertional pain is noted in the arms, evaluation by a vascular surgeon may be warranted. Read more

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Can leg claudication ever get worse on its own?

Can leg claudication ever get worse on its own?

Certainly: Claudication describes the symptoms of muscle cramping and/or foot numbness/pain with exercise. People with mild to moderate vascular disease experience claudication. It is very possible for the vascular disease to progress to severe disease, in which case people develop rest pain or tissue loss. Smoking cessation, Aspirin and a cholesterol lowering medication (statin) will help. Read more

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Can leg claudication ever get better on its own?

With exercise: Claudication symptoms can be improved with exercise. With a regular program exercise endurance can improve. It is unlikely for symptoms ro go away on their own. Read more

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Are there any drugs that may cause leg claudication?

Sort of: The most common cause of leg cramping from medication is likely the family of statin drugs used to lower cholesterol. Monitoring of liver and muscle enzymes is common with statins. With normal lab results changing doses or brands can improve the muscle cramping. Read more

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What is the definition or description of: Leg claudication?

What is the definition or description of: Leg claudication?

Claudication: Discomfort in legs due to decreased blood flow, which manifest with activity Read more

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Are there any diet choices that will help with leg claudication?

Are there any diet choices that will help with leg claudication?

Yes: Claudication is leg pain with walking associated with pad (peripheral artery disease). Pad, like heart disease (cad), is a manifestation of atherosclerosis. Dietary choices like low sodium, low cholesterol, low fat, and low sugar can help control risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. Read more

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Can leg claudication cause random sharp pain?

Can leg claudication cause random sharp pain?

Unlikely: Leg claudication is a cramping muscle pain, and/or numbness/pain in the foot which comes on with exercise and improves with rest. Claudication symptoms are very predictable and reproducible. The random sharp pain you describe is unlikely to be claudication pain. Read more

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Could sitting too long make my leg claudication worse?

Unlikely: No. Sitting is not associated with atherosclerosis or vascular disease. However, having said that, if you do have vascular disease and claudication, regular exercise will increase your exercise endurance- this has been proven and is the first recommendation along with optimal medical management (aspirin and a statin). Read more

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Can you explain how the operation for leg claudication is done?

Yes: The procedure done either removes the blocking atheroscelrotic plaque (endarterectomy), streches the area of plaque (angioplasty +/- stent), or bypasses the area (graft - vein or artifical tube). A combination of these is occasionally done. Read more

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