The most common cause of
peripheral arterial disease is the buildup of
plaque inside blood vessels called arteries. Plaque is made up of
cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in your
bloodstream. Over time, plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries,
including the arteries that feed your legs. The plaque deposits decrease the
space through which oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood can flow. Poor blood flow
"starves" the muscles and other tissues in the lower body.