How Severe Can Vascular Pains Get? Dr. Irfan Siddiqui Discusses the Causes, Symptoms, Severity, and Treatment Options of Vascular Pain
Vascular pain — or pain caused by blocked arteries and veins in your body — can be extremely painful without proper treatment and management, according to Dr. Irfan Siddiqui, a leading Cardiologist at the Institute of Florida. Vascular pain develops where there is an interruption in blood flow to a tissue, organ or nerves.
Vascular Pain Causes
According to Dr. Irfan Siddiqui, vascular pain can be caused by a whole host of diseases and injuries, including vasculitis (or, inflammation of the blood vessels), coronary artery disease, circulatory problems, vascular ruptures (called breakages), blood vessel spasms, or Peripheral Vascular Disease (or PAD), which occurs when the blood vessels carrying blood to the legs and feet are narrowed over time.
Vascular Pain Symptoms
Vascular pain symptoms include a feeling of heaviness, numbness/weakness or tingling in the area, or can be so severe it can prevent a patient from carrying out every day physical activities such as walking or going up and down stairs. The pain is usually experienced as a ‘cramping’ in the calf muscles that worsens with physical activity and is resolved when the patient is at rest.
Vascular Pain Severity
Vascular pains can be quite severe, depending on the location of the blockage in the artery and the extent of the blockage overall. At its worst, Irfan Siddiqui states patients are usually forced to stop all physical activity due to the intolerable pain, which only increases the more activity is undertaken. Pain can continue while the patient is at rest, particularly in the feet while the patient is lying down on their back.
The pain caused by vascular disease can have a major impact on a patient’s quality of life, Dr. Siddiqui advises. Some patients also experience pain from pre-existing and co-morbid diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and impaired renal function. This pain, when it is left uncontrolled, can result in significant implications such as an increased stress response and activation of the autonomic system which can further complicate vascular disease.
Patients also often experience severe pain at night, while at rest, if the blood vessels in the legs are close to or completely blocked. This pain can sometimes be eased by the patient hanging his or her legs down to allow blood to flow through them. In the beginning stages of the disease, pain occurs only when the patient is active, and is eased when the patient ceases activity. Once the pain persists when the patient is at rest, this is a sign that the disease has progressed and is more severe.
If you experience pain which you believe is vascular in nature, along with pain in the chest, upper back, neck, jaw or shoulder, fainting, sudden numbness of the face, an arm or leg, dizziness or confusion, you should visit your local emergency department immediately, states Dr. Siddiqui. These can signal the onset of a sudden medical emergency such as a stroke.
Vascular Pain Treatment Options
Vascular pain may be successfully treated through angioplasty, stunting, cryoplasty or atherectomy. Other times, patients may need a surgical bypass procedure, where a physician removes a vein from one part of the body and grafts a vein around the blocked artery. If you suffer from vascular pain, your physician will prescribe the best course of treatment for your particular circumstances, says Dr. Siddiqui.
Irfan Siddiqui’s Final Thoughts
As mentioned, vascular pain is the result of pain caused by blocked arteries and veins and can be extremely painful without proper care. These pains are caused from an array of health complications which include but are not limited to, vasculitis, coronary artery disease, circulatory issues, vascular ruptures, blood vessel spasms, or PAD. Symptoms include extreme pain and discomfort affecting the blocked area, the inability to exercise without immense pain, and are often most severe at night. The treatment options for vascular pain range from angioplasty, to bypass procedures. According to Dr. Irfan Siddiqui, if you experience any of the pain or symptoms discussed above you must immediately contact a medical professional.