Although pain at rest can happen anytime, it typically occurs at night during sleep. People may awaken to severe burning sensations in their lower legs or feet, which may become chronic and persistent. This pain may be temporarily relieved by hanging a foot or leg over the bed.
When a person experiences pain at rest, it can signify a severe blockage in the arteries of the lower extremities.2 The blockage happens when the arteries become narrowed and hardened due to excessive plaque build-up and can significantly reduce blood flow to the area.
Pain at rest can be a sign of advanced peripheral artery disease, also called critical limb ischemia (CLI).3 Over time, pain at rest can lead to more serious complications, such as tissue loss and leg ulcers. The skin can break down and develop non-healing wounds.1 Therefore, it is critical to take the step and see your doctor right away if you experience this symptom.
This is how pain at rest symptoms typically progress: 1,2,3