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Intermittent Claudication

by Oct 23, 2023

Home » Chiropractic Medicine Student Blog - Illinois » Intermittent Claudication

Claudication is most often a symptom of peripheral artery disease. The peripheral arteries are the vessels that deliver blood to the extremities. Intermittent claudication is pain affecting the calf, and less commonly the thigh and buttocks. This pain is primarily induced by exercise and relieved by rest.

When an individual is active, the muscles are typically not receiving enough oxygen due to the damage to the arteries that restrict proper blood flow. Damage to these arteries is usually caused by atherosclerosis, which reduces blood flow due to plaquing. Intermittent claudication is the result of muscle ischemia during exercise caused by obstruction to arterial flow. It is a relatively common condition, with one fifth of the population over age 65 being affected. Other conditions such as nerve root compression, spinal stenosis, hip arthritis, symptomatic Baker’s cyst, venous claudication and chronic compartment syndrome may mimic the symptoms of intermittent claudication. Absent or reduced peripheral pulses support the diagnosis of intermittent claudication, but many patients have normal peripheral pulses.

Treatment should be utilized to reduce the risk from cardiovascular events and should attempt to reduce the symptoms of claudication. Some methods of reducing the risk of a cardiovascular event include smoking cessation, antiplatelet drugs, statins and control of blood pressure and diabetes. Regular exercise is an important addition to the treatment plan of an individual with intermittent claudication. Chiropractic physicians have an important role with individuals diagnosed with intermittent claudication by helping patients modify their diet and exercise to promote optimum health and wellbeing.

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About the Author

Hannah Synon

Hannah Synon

My name is Hannah, and I am in Phase III of the chiropractic program at NUHS. I was raised in St. Joseph, Michigan, a beautiful town on Lake Michigan. Currently, I live in Schaumburg with my husband, Zach. I love to travel, bake, and watch horror movies. Chiropractic medicine is my passion, as it provides more natural remedies and methods for obtaining a healthier life. I love meeting new people, and I look forward to sharing my chiropractic journey with you.


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