Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which the blood vessels that lead to different parts of the body – most commonly the legs – become narrowed due to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup), causing impeded blood flow. This poor circulation causes pain in the affected areas. (Peripheral artery disease differs from coronary artery disease in that the latter condition specifically relates to arteries that bring blood and oxygen to the heart or brain.) Factors that raise your risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD) include smoking cigarettes and having high blood pressure and/or diabetes. While about half of those who have PAD will experience no symptoms of the disease, others report pain that occurs while walking or otherwise using the limb that is affected -- and sometimes pain at the bottom of their feet when their feet are raised. Other potential symptoms include wounds that are slow to heal or that develop gangrene, particularly on the legs and feet. The primary method of treating PAD is via medications and lifestyle adjustments with regard to quitting smoking, exercising and better managing underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Medications may also be employed. When these treatments fail to relieve the discomfort of PAD, referral to a vascular or endovascular surgeon may be indicted for a possible revascularization procedure.