Did you know that symptoms related to heart health can sometimes manifest in the feet? In conditions like Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which affects blood flow to the legs and feet, symptoms such as cold feet, leg pain or cramping, leg weakness or numbness, and changes in skin color or texture can indicate underlying heart issues. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a condition where leg arteries narrow due to plaque buildup, leading to poor circulation. It can also signal broader health issues like stroke or heart attack. February is American Heart Month, we wanted to share PAD’s risk factors, symptoms, and treatments.

Risk Factors of PAD:

  • Diabetes
  • Age over 50
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Family history of PAD, heart attack, stroke, or heart disease

PAD Symptoms:

  • Cold feet or legs
  • Leg pain or cramping while walking or lying down
  • Leg weakness or numbness
  • Color changes in the leg
  • Loss of hair on the legs and feet
  • Changes in toenail color and thickness
  • Sores on toes, feet, or legs that do not heal

PAD & Foot Problems:

PAD complicates common foot issues like hammertoes or bunions, making healing difficult due to restricted blood flow. This increases risks for ulcers, especially in diabetic patients, which can lead to amputations.


  • Lifestyle changes: Quit smoking, exercise, and eat healthily.
  • Medications: Improve blood flow, prevent blood clots, control blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.
  • Surgery: Endovascular procedures or bypass surgery may be necessary to improve blood flow.


Regular foot care is crucial. Wash and moisturize feet daily, trim toenails carefully, wear proper shoes and socks, and check feet daily for any issues. Seek professional help from the Podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center for foot problems, as self-care may worsen them.

Contact Dr. Kylin Kovac or Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center if you experience PAD symptoms or other foot or ankle issues. They are equipped to handle all your podiatric needs. At Idaho Foot & Ankle Center, you will receive the highest quality of care and an excellent healthcare experience. 

Some content provided by The ACFAS.