How to tell if pain in leg is due to blocked arteries

Updated April 17, 2017

A person's legs can hurt for many reasons, but it is important to find out the cause to avoid further complications. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is caused when arteries in the legs become blocked. This is a serious condition that requires medical attention, so it is important to know how to tell when pain in the leg is due to blocked arteries.

Go for a short walk when you begin to feel pain in the legs. If the pain eases as you walk, the problem is not related to the blood flow. However, if the pain remains constant, it's possible that you have blocked arteries.

Experiencing pain in your feet and toes when resting rules out most problems, with the exception of blocked arteries. If the blood cannot reach the feet, the discomfort can clue you in to the problem.

Have a physician do a ankle-brachial test on your legs. This simple exam will compare the blood pressure in your arms to that in your legs, to determine how well blood is flowing. Blocked arteries are detected in this way.

Possessing some of the risk factors for Peripheral Artery Disease may help you diagnose it as the cause of your leg pain. These include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and being over the age of 50.


It is important to see a doctor if you think your arteries have become blocked.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Kecia Hambrick is a part-time freelance writer and college student. She has been creating Web content since 2007. She mainly composes articles for various websites. Hambrick has completed several English and writing courses at Dalton State College.