Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can lead to poor circulation in your legs. PAD is a circulatory condition that causes narrowing of the blood vessels and arteries. In an associated condition called atherosclerosis, arteries stiffen due to plaque buildup in the arteries and blood vessels. Both conditions decrease blood flow to your extremities and can result in pain.
Over time, reduced blood flow in your extremities can cause:
If left untreated, reduced blood flow and plaque in your carotid arteries may result in a stroke. Your carotid arteries are the major blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain. If plaque buildup takes place in the arteries in your heart, you’re at risk of having a heart attack.
PAD is most common in adults over age 50, but it can also occur in younger people. People who smoke are at a higher risk for developing PAD early in life.