Claudication is pain caused by too little blood flow, usually during exercise. Sometimes called intermittent claudication, this condition generally affects the blood vessels in the legs, but claudication can affect the arms, too.
At first, you'll probably notice the pain only when you're exercising, but as claudication worsens, the pain may affect you even when you're at rest.
Although it's sometimes considered a disease, claudication is technically a symptom of a disease. Most often, claudication is a symptom of peripheral artery disease, a potentially serious but treatable circulation problem in which the vessels that supply blood flow to your legs or arms are narrowed.
Fortunately, with treatment, you may be able to maintain an active lifestyle without pain.
Jan. 31, 2015
- Neschis DG. Clinical features, diagnosis, and natural history of lower extremity peripheral arterial disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 18, 2014.
- Peripheral artery disease. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/peripheral_arterial_disorders/peripheral_arterial_disease.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2014.
- White C. Intermittent claudication. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007;356:1241.
- Rooke TW, et al. 2011 ACCF/AHA focused update of the guideline for the management of patients with peripheral artery disease (updating the 2005 guideline). Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2011;58:2020.
- Rudisill HM, et al. Effective therapies for intermittent claudication. American Family Physician. 2011;84:699.
- Vodnala D, et al. Medical management of the patient with intermittent claudication. Cardiology Clinics. 2011;39:363.
- Nordanstig J, et al. Improved quality of life after 1 year with an invasive versus a noninvasive treatment strategy in claudicants: One-year results of the Invasive Revascularization or Not in Intermittent Claudication (IRONIC) Trial. Circulation. 2014;130:939.
- Mazari FAK, et al. Randomized clinical trial of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, supervised exercise and combined treatment for intermittent claudication due to femoropopliteal arterial disease. British Journal of Surgery. 2012;99:39.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.