Is There Any Treatment for Claudication?

Claudication may be treated with medications, angioplasty or vascular surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Claudication, a symptom of peripheral artery disease, is pain due to limited blood flow, and treatments are designed to increase blood flow to the affected area.

Doctors may prescribe medications that keep the blood from clotting, such as Plavix and Persantine, states Mayo Clinic. Pletal and Trental may be prescribed to help with the symptoms and improve blood flow. Sometimes cholesterol-lowering medications may also be prescribed.

More serious cases of claudication may require angioplasty, Mayo Clinic notes. Angioplasty is a procedure in which a balloon is inserted into a damaged artery and inflated to open up the artery and improve circulation. Sometimes stents, small mesh or metal tubes, are left in place to help keep the artery open.

Vascular surgery involves replacing the diseased artery that is the cause of the claudication with a healthy artery from another part of the body, according to Mayo Clinic. The new artery allows blood flow to resume, bypassing the narrow or blocked artery.

Frequently an exercise program is also prescribed, according to Mayo Clinic. Although exercise brings on the pain from claudication, it helps improve the amount of oxygen that gets to the muscles, which reduces the pain over time.