Has anybody been diagnosed with intermittent claudication and been told that there is nothing that can be done about it?

I am in severe pain in my calf muscles when I have walked around 100 metres. I am told that. 2. Small arteries below the knee are somewhat blocked and an angioplasty or arterial bypass are not possible. I just have to exercise as much as possible including walking through the paiin barrier, which should improve matters after a few months, but it may nobody improve at all. I have had both a liver and kidney transplant as a result of amyloidosis.

2 Replies

  • I don't know whether my reply is going to be any help but I just wanted you to know you aren't alone in experiencing claudication. In my case it was caused by a blockage in the artery in the groin and meant I'd be in severe pain after walking 50ft. In my case I was given the exercises and told to take aspirin daily but then it was decided angioplasty was the way to go. The results from the angioplasty were immediate but I think the decision on whether to use it was one taken after discussion with all my consultants. I do hope things improve for you as I know the pain you are experiencing. Best wishes, Charlotte

  • I presume you are now taking anticoagulants - Warfarin, Clopidogrel. If the vessels are only partly blocked there is the possibilty that they can be partially "unblocked" if anticoagulants are given promptly.

    Regular exercise will definitely help but it needs to be progressive ie 100 metres a day this week, 200 next week etc.

    Ideally several times a day, but spaced out through the day. After a month or so you will probably find you can do a mile. If you do a regular daily walk & keep shifting the goalpost a little every few days, you'll probably find by Spring you can do 5 miles or more in comfort.

    The body is very good at compensating and in response to "demand" can often develop alternative routes for blood or nerves, but it is a gradual process. So the progressive exercise creates the "demand" and the body does its best.

    Vigorous exercise - pushing through the pain barrier or to your limit is not necessary or beneficial. It's the regular exercise that matters.

    I had a dvt in my groin several years ago. It has improved greatly without intervention other than anticoagulants (probably for life). Walking is OK but standing for a long time or slow walking (such as shopping or walking round exhibitions) which does not pump the blood through the leg muscles, causes discomfort & swollen leg. If I took more exercise, I'm sure it would improve more.

    It is not widely understood (including by doctors) that inflammatory diseases like vasculitis can make you more susceptible to blood clots.

    Susan would say I'm very good at prescribing exercise for others but not no very good at heeding my own advice or taking my own medicine!! John

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