As the heart beats, it pumps blood through a system of blood vessels called the circulatory system. The vessels are elastic tubes that carry blood to every part of the body. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins return it.
Vascular disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system. This ranges from diseases of your arteries, veins, and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation. Vascular pain develops when the communication between blood vessels and nerves is interrupted or damaged due to vascular disease or injuries.
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The following conditions fall under the category of vascular disease.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Like the blood vessels of the heart (coronary arteries) and brain (cerebral arteries), the peripheral arteries (blood vessels outside your heart and brain) also may develop atherosclerosis, the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits, called plaque, on the inside walls. Over time, the build-up narrows the artery. Eventually the narrowed artery causes less blood to flow and a condition called "ischemia" can occur. Ischemia is inadequate blood flow to the body's tissue. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can cause various symptoms including the following:
Blockage in the legs can lead to leg pain or cramps with activity (a condition called claudication), changes in skin color, sores or ulcers, and feeling tired in the legs. Total loss of circulation can lead to gangrene and loss of a limb.
An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. One can form in any blood vessel, but aneurysms occur most often in the aorta (aortic aneurysm), which is the main blood vessel leaving the heart. The two types of aortic aneurysm are:
Thoracic aortic aneurysm (part of aorta in the chest)