Harvard Health Letter

Could that leg pain be peripheral artery disease?

The pain of peripheral artery disease may be felt above or below the knee during activity, and will fade with rest.

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The telltale sign is leg pain and fatigue that comes on with activity and goes away with rest.

Occasional stiffness or soreness in your legs might not require a visit to the doctor. But leg pain or fatigue that develops after you've been walking or climbing stairs for a few minutes—a classic symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD)—usually can't be ignored. "It inhibits all of your activities. One of the main complaints I hear is that people can't even go grocery shopping anymore because of pain associated with walking," says Dr. Sherry Scovell, a vascular surgeon and instructor in surgery at Harvard Medical School.

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