Managing patient expectations goes hand-in-hand with patient education.  It’s time consuming to find appropriate materials and many patients may have limited reading ability and vocabularies.  As an aid to medical practices, Solace Advancement produces content for clinicians to use with patients. The articles are therapy-condition specific and written at an 8th-grade reading level, helping to aid patient understanding and recall.  Solace believes that greater patient understanding correlates to greater compliance rates.  The intended result is greater efficacy and more successful treatment outcomes.  The following article is one in a series produced for our partners in medical practices. Remove this summary prior to sharing with patients.  

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a condition that restricts your blood from reaching your arms and legs.  When the tissues in your hands and feet don’t receive enough oxygen, they don’t work as well. Anyone can get PAD, but it usually seen in older people.  Lifestyle choices can increase the chances that someone will get PAD.  Poor diet, drinking alcohol or smoking are all factors that increase risk.


Blood carries the oxygen that the cells in our bodies need to work.  PAD prevents your arms and legs from getting enough oxygen.  As tissues begin to receive less and less oxygen, they stop working correctly.  Once that happens, the symptoms of PAD emerge.  People with PAD may feel coldness in the lower leg or foot – sometimes in one leg before the other.  Skin may chance color or appearance.  such As PAD gets worse, people may get cramps in their thigh or calf muscles.  Hair and nails may stop growing.  Open sores may appear on the skin and never heal.


The most important thing people with PAD can do to improve their condition is to make lifestyle changes.  Eating healthy and quitting drinking and smoking habits are at the top of the list. Your doctor may also recommend exercise.  Medicines to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol are commonly prescribed for this condition.  
Your doctor may also suggest a treatment called neurostimulation (knee-ro-stim-u-lay-shun) therapy. This kind of treatment is used to increase the amount of blood that can reach your arms and legs. Doctors use a medical device to send very mild electrical pulses through your body.  The amount of electricity is so small that you are unlikely to be able to feel it.  But, it is enough to increase the blood flow in your arms and legs.  Neurostimulation may slow down PAD and make it easier for you to move.  When effective, this also makes of other efforts to fight PAD possible, particularly exercise.

If left untreated, PAD will significantly deteriorate the quality of your life.  Like other diseases, early detection and treatment increase the success rate of treatment.


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