A consultation with a vascular specialist can is recommended to discuss the severity of the disease and the various treatment options available. Based on the result of your physical exam and your diagnostic testing, your vascular surgeon will treat your claudication.
A major goal is to address the underlying cause of your PAD, the atherosclerosis. Lifestyle modifications may be recommended, including:
- Smoking cessation (this is the most important lifestyle modification)
- Weight loss
- Better nutrition
- Medication such as cholesterol-lowering drugs
Treatment for claudication usually begins with a daily walking exercise program and occasionally the use of specific medications prescribed as appropriate by your vascular surgeon.
Many patients' health levels improve markedly with a walking program and lifestyle changes, especially quitting smoking. Often these changes are all that is needed to improve symptoms of claudication. However, if they do not help or if the symptoms worsen, your vascular surgeon may recommend other medications, endovascular intervention or bypass surgery.