What is Claudication?


Its name sounds complex, but the condition is very basic: Claudication is a pain, typically in the legs, caused by too little blood flow through the blood vessels during exercise. Claudication can affect the arms as well as the legs. At first the pain is only noticeable when exercising, but as the condition progresses, the pain can be present even when at rest. It is a symptom of, most commonly, peripheral artery disease, a treatable circulatory problem.

The pain is felt in areas where of artery narrowing or damage, and may present first in the feet, calves, thighs, hips or buttocks. The pain may come and go in tandem with the intensity of the exercise. As the condition progresses, claudication may occur when sitting or lying down.  If the blood flow is severely compromised, toes or fingers may appear blue and feel cold to the touch. Sores may also develop as a result of reduced blood flow that would otherwise nourish the skin and flush toxins and infectious agents. Claudication may also cause a burning or aching sensation.

Spinal stenosis, an unnatural narrowing of the spinal canal, can cause claudication, though sometimes the back connection is missed in the initial diagnosis. Claudication can be treated through therapies ranging from healthy changes in lifestyle to vascular surgery performed on blood vessels. Spinal stenosis with claudication can be treated as well. Spinal decompression surgery can relieve pressure on nerve roots emanating from the spine, relieving the spinal claudicationSpinal decompression therapycan also be performed on a variety of spinal conditions that can cause pain and restrict mobility, like spondylolisthesis. Following decompression, the TOPS (Total Posterior Solution), an implant device, can stabilize the spine while preserving the full range of independent motion of each vertebrae. Before TOPS was available, patients were resigned to spinal fusion back surgery after decompression, a procedure that eliminates independent motion of the fused vertebrae, and that can contribute to spinal deterioration of adjacent vertebrae. Whatever the name of the spinal condition, make sure you get all the information about its treatment available.