Prevent PAD EffectsThere’s still plenty of time to head to Squeeze Spot in Ephrata so your child can paint their own wooden toy for Santa to deliver Christmas morning (with some parental help, of course *wink, nudge*). Squeeze Spot is a fun place to go for art, but what you don’t want are “squeeze spots” in your arteries caused by the effects of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The resulting problems with your circulation can have negative effects on your feet. What can you do to prevent plaque buildup and the narrowing of your arteries?

A healthy lifestyle is the best gift you can give yourself to prevent the buildup of PAD over time. If you currently smoke, please quit. This habit greatly increases your risk of poor circulation. A diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats also help, as does at least 90 minutes of exercise spread through the week and the maintenance of a healthy weight. If you have diabetes, a good handle on your blood sugar can also go a long way.

What if you have already been diagnosed with PAD and feel some of its symptoms, such as cramping in your legs or coldness in your feet? You can still take steps to relieve your symptoms and prevent further blockage in your blood vessels. Exercise is still highly recommended, even if it initially causes cramping or pain. As the body adjusts and requires less oxygen, the discomfort should recede and overall performance improve. It’s best to take activity on slowly and gradually, and ideally under the guidance of a doctor.

It’s never too late (or too early!) to begin fighting back against peripheral arterial disease, and the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle are fully in your corner. Schedule an appointment with us by calling (717) 757-3537 for our locations in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz and York. You can also have our book, A Step in the Right Direction: A User’s Guide to Foot and Ankle Health, sent to you at no cost.
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