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Leg Pain

Rhode Island Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Woonsocket, RI & Pawtucket, RI

Leg pain that includes swelling, heaviness, and muscle cramps may indicate venous insufficiency or peripheral artery disease (PAD). Skilled internist Irfan Ahmad, MD, of Rhode Island Medicine with offices in Woonsocket and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, diagnoses and treats leg pain to prevent serious complications and to help you find relief. If you have leg pain that makes walking painful, call one of the offices to make an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.

Leg Pain Q & A

What symptoms suggest I need to see a doctor for leg pain?

Leg pain that interferes with your daily activity deserves a medical evaluation. Symptoms that may accompany your leg pain include:

  • Leg fatigue or heaviness
  • Leg numbness
  • Skin rashes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Non-healing leg wounds
  • Reddish-brown skin
  • Hair loss or slow hair growth on legs 

You may experience leg pain the most when you’re walking and find relief when you rest. 

What causes leg pain?

While an injury experienced during an accident or sports play can cause leg pain, but persistent leg pain that’s not due to an injury may be caused by:


Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, develops when the arteries that lead to your limbs are clogged with cholesterol and other fatty deposits. The tissue in your legs doesn’t get the blood they need to function and thrive. Your legs may be numb and swollen, and the affected feet may be cold to the touch and shiny. You may develop sores or ulcers that just won’t heal.  

Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency occurs when the two-way valves in your veins malfunction. Instead of allowing blood to push back up through your legs to return to the heart, blood pools in your legs. 

This causes spider and varicose veins to form. Your legs feel heavy, tired, and may swell. 

Why is it important to seek care for leg pain?

If left untreated, leg pain resulting from peripheral artery disease can lead to critical limb ischemia. This means you have a lack of oxygen-rich blood flowing to your tissues, which leads to deterioration, serious infection, and even gangrene. 

Venous insufficiency can cause serious swelling and varicose veins that are not only unsightly but that interfere with your quality of life. 

How is leg pain caused by peripheral artery disease or venous insufficiency treated?

The team at Rhode Island Medicine recommends a holistic approach to relieving your leg pain. Lifestyle changes that include diet recommendations and more physical activity help. You may also receive medications that help with conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol that aggravate PAD. 

Patients with venous insufficiency benefit from medical-grade support stockings that help improve blood flow. The team may also recommend sclerotherapy or endovenous laser treatment to destroy the offending veins and redirect blood flow through healthier veins. 

If you’re experiencing leg pain, contact Rhode Island Medicine. Call today or use the online tool to schedule.