University Pain and Spine Center
Interventional Pain Management Physicians & Minimally Invasive Surgeons located throughout the state of New Jersey
Atherosclerosis develops when plaque builds up inside your arteries, causing them to harden and narrow and causing disruptive pain in your feet and legs. The team at the University Pain and Spine Center diagnoses and treats pain related to atherosclerosis at their offices in Englewood Cliffs, Somerset, Monroe Township, Freehold, and Clark, New Jersey. You don’t have to put up chronic pain — call the University Pain and Spine Center or schedule a consultation online today.
This disease is a buildup of a sticky, fatty substance called "plaque" on the inner walls of your arteries. Plaque buildup limits the flow of blood. This can lead to serious health problems.
Treatment for atherosclerosis may include lifestyle changes and medications. It may also include surgical procedures. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.
Atherosclerosis Q & A
What is atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when fatty deposits in your arteries harden into plaque, narrowing the available space for blood to flow. Atherosclerosis leads to a variety of health problems, including:
- Angina (chest pain)
- Coronary heart disease
- Carotid artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Chronic kidney disease
Additionally, the plaque that causes atherosclerosis can break off and get stuck in an artery. This not only blocks your circulation but increases your risk of developing a blood clot.
Why does atherosclerosis cause pain?
Atherosclerosis reduces your blood flow, depriving your muscles, organs, and nerves of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function. For example, if atherosclerosis reduces the blood supply to your heart, it doesn’t get enough blood and causes a painful squeezing sensation or pressure in your chest, shoulders, arm, neck, jaw, or back.
Atherosclerosis is also a leading cause of PAD, which causes painful muscle cramping in your legs and can contribute to nerve damage. Nerve damage causes sharp stabbing pain, electrical sensations, numbness, and weakness.
How is atherosclerosis diagnosed?
The team at the University Pain and Spine Center provides exams and state-of-the-art testing to diagnose atherosclerosis and related pain. They begin by reviewing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history. During your physical exam, they listen to the blood flow through your arteries and look for signs of atherosclerosis.
The team also uses diagnostic tests, including ultrasound, MRIs, electromyography (EMG), and nerve conduction studies to evaluate the health of your arteries, muscles, and nerves.
How is atherosclerosis treated?
The team at the University Pain and Spine Center provides customized treatment plans to relieve your pain and restore your health. They might collaborate with a vascular health specialist to prescribe medication and treatments like angioplasty or stenting to open your arteries and improve your blood flow.
They also recommend adjusting your diet and adding exercise to your daily routine to improve your overall cardiovascular health.
The team can also recommend pain-relieving treatments, such as cold laser therapy, physical therapy, and therapies like nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation to reduce nerve pain.
Call the University Pain and Spine Center today or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for atherosclerosis and related pain.