Good circulation is a vital part of your overall health. Sufficient blood flow enables your body to work efficiently, maintain a healthy temperature, fight illness and injury and cope with impact. Your legs and feet are the furthest away from your heart, making them the most challenging areas to pump blood to and from. If the blood circulation to any part of your body is restricted, serious health issues may arise.
Signs of Poor Circulation in Legs and Feet
There are many symptoms relating to poor circulation in the legs and feet. Some of which include:
- Purple, red, or blue toes
- Stinging, throbbing or tingling
- Cracked heels
- Dry skin
- Brittle toe-nails
- Wounds not healing
- Leg hair loss
- Stiffness or weakness
Poor circulation must be treated as soon as symptoms are recognised. If it is not treated, there could be severe complications. Examples of which include damage to tissue, damage to nerves and Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is a life-threatening condition.
There are several risk factors for poor circulation in the legs and feet. They include:
Diabetes – High glucose levels can harm blood vessels, which could hinder circulation.
Smoking – Nicotine thickens the blood and constricts blood vessels.
Bad diet – Fatty deposits can clog blood vessels. Being overweight causes pressure on the legs and feet, as well as varicose veins.
High blood pressure – This hardens blood vessels.
Sedentary lifestyle – This can slow circulation down.
Diagnosing and Treating Poor Circulation of the Legs and Feet
A podiatry specialist, such as Louisa Seymour Podiatry, will be able to assess your circulation. A vascular assessment will check for problems with the circulation in your feet and legs, checking the blood flow for constriction and blockages.
A treatment plan is developed once you received your diagnosis. This will factor in any underlying conditions you may have. Poor circulation is almost always a result of another underlying health condition. Your treatment may include medication for pain relief, exercises to improve circulation and compression socks. It is also highly likely that lifestyle changes will be required to manage your circulation.
Your GP can advise you on the changes you can make to ensure you are doing the best for your blood and circulation. This may include quitting smoking, exercising, and eating a healthier diet. Other possible tips to try are avoiding narrow shoes, regular foot massages, and warm baths.
For information on the podiatry services we offer at Louisa Seymour Podiatry, contact us on 01277 216870