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Timely detection and treatment of P.A.D. can help reduce your symptoms; improve the quality of your life; help you keep your independence and mobility; and reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation, and even death.

There are three main approaches to treating P.A.D.:

Your health care provider will determine the best treatment options for you, based on your medical history and the severity of your condition.

Lifestyle Changes

P.A.D. treatment often includes making long-lasting lifestyle changes. If you have P.A.D., or are aiming to lower your risk, your health care provider may prescribe one or more of the following:

  • Quit smoking. Don't smoke, and if you do, quit. Consult with your health care provider to develop an effective cessation plan and stick to it.
  • Lower your numbers. Work with your health care provider to correct any high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Be sure to include whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Get moving. Make a commitment to be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care provider to develop a supervised weight loss plan.

Photo of woman and man from lifestyle changes videoWatch a brief video about lifestyle changes
(1 min. 42 seconds)


In addition to lifestyle changes, your health care provider may prescribe one or more medications. These medications are used to:

  • Lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and treat diabetes;
  • Prevent the formation of blood clots that could cause a heart attack or stroke; and
  • Help reduce leg pain while walking or climbing stairs.

Special Procedures and Surgeries

If the blood flow in one of your limbs is completely or almost completely blocked, you may benefit from having a procedure or surgery in addition to medications and lifestyle changes. Procedures such as angioplasty and bypass graft surgery will not cure P.A.D., but they can improve the blood circulation to your legs and your ability to walk.

In some cases, it may be possible to join a clinical trial to gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.

Photo: [Walking bike]
You can lower your risk for P.A.D.