What is Intermittent Claudication?

Understanding Intermittent Claudication in Baulkham Hills

Intermittent claudication (IC) refers to cramping pain, often accompanied by numbing and tingling sensations in the calf, thigh, or buttock muscles during walking. This discomfort is typically relieved by short periods of rest. There are two types of IC: intermittent vascular claudication, related to blood flow issues from the heart, and intermittent neurological claudication, associated with nerve problems in the spine.

Vascular Claudication in the Hills Area
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) leads to intermittent vascular claudication, resulting from a temporary reduction in blood flow to the legs. It commonly affects individuals with cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease. Biomechanically PVD can occur due to atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arterial wall) within the arteries in their leg or due to an inadequate return of the venous blood from the legs to the heart. During exercise, these already compromised arteries become further obstructed by the muscles surrounding them as those muscles contract.

Neurological Claudication in Baulkham Hills
Intermittentneurological claudication stems from compression of spinal nerves in the lumbar spine. Conditions like lumbar stenosis, lumbar spondylosis, or lumbar spondylolisthesis may cause this form of IC. Upright positions compress blood vessels around the spine, reducing oxygen-carrying blood flow, leading to pain radiating down the leg and feet. Patients may find a forward leaning position, otherwise called the ‘shopping cart sign’ to be helpful in alleviating the symptoms as the narrowed space is widened.

Treatment and Care in the Hills Area
Individuals experiencing IC symptoms should undergo a thorough physical examination to identify the underlying cause. Treatment approaches differ based on the type and stage of the condition. Exercise and conservative treatments like manual
therapy may be effective, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary for relief.

It is important to note that the treatment regime for the two types of claudication would be different. Depending on the type and stage of the condition, exercise and conservative treatment like manual therapy may or may not be effective enough in treating the symptoms. If conservative treatment does not improve the symptoms, surgery may be required to alleviate the issue.

Residents in Baulkham Hills seeking relief from intermittent claudication can trust Precision Health’s chiropractors and massage therapists. For personalised care, contact Precision Health at Baulkham Hills by calling (02) 9639 7337, or book online. Our dedicated team is committed to ensuring your well-being and providing effective solutions for intermittent claudication in the Hills Area.

Jansen SCP, Hoorweg BBN, Hoeks SE, van den Houten MML, Scheltinga MRM, Teijink JAW, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of supervised exercise therapy on modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in intermittent claudication. Journal of vascular surgery. 2019;69(4):1293-.

Munakomi S, Foris LA, Varacallo M. Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication. [Updated 2023 Aug 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430872/

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