Claudication, which is defined as reproducible ischemic muscle pain, is one of the most common manifestations of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) caused by atherosclerosis. Claudication occurs during physical activity and is relieved after a short rest. Pain develops because of inadequate blood flow.
Examination of a patient with claudication should include a complete lower-extremity evaluation and pulse examination, including measuring segmental pressures. Attempt to palpate pulses from the abdominal aorta to the foot, with auscultation for bruits in the abdominal and pelvic regions. When palpable pulses are not present, a handheld Doppler device may be used to assess circulation.