Circulatory Problems and Foot Health

Feb 24, 2022

At first glance, the circulatory system may not seem related to your foot health. But look closer and you will find the two closely related.

In many cases, the body extremities, like the hand and the feet, are mostly affected by poor circulation.

Since the circulatory system is responsible for transporting oxygen and blood across your entire body, it is vital for your overall health. And when there is a problem with the system, you need to take it seriously. 

If you’re suffering from foot pain, lack of proper circulation can be a major reason. So, let’s take a look at some of the facts related to circulatory problems and foot health.

What Are the Symptoms of Circulatory Problems?

It’s not surprising that poor circulation is often related to deeper health issues. That means you need to look out for the symptoms. Here are some common ones that aren’t too hard to notice.

  • Coldness in the feet or lower legs
  • Severe cramping in the legs, thighs, or foot
  • Tingling sensations or pins and needles
  • Throbbing pain or aching in the legs, often accompanied by a heaviness
  • Numbness in the legs or weakness in leg muscles during activity
  • Development of ulcer in the legs or slow healing of a wound in the toe or the foot
  • Discoloration of skin or unusually shiny skin on the legs
  • Slower hair growth in the legs or uneven hair loss. Toenail growth rate can also slow down
  • Engorged veins in the legs or developing varicose veins
  • Weak pulse or a lack of pulse in the legs.

Have your legs gone numb or ached recently?

No need to panic. That happens to all of us now and then.

It’s when the symptoms are persistent that we should understand that something is wrong. Listening to what the body is trying to tell you through these symptoms is the most important part.

As poor circulation can result from a wide range of underlying causes, there are some unique symptoms as well. For example, some people can suffer from erectile dysfunction along with other symptoms.

circulatory problems and foot health

What Issues Can Arise in Feet from Circulatory Problems?

There are some major issues related to circulatory problems and foot health. Take a look.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

PAD is a common circulatory problem caused by the narrowing of the arteries and veins in the legs. This results in a blood supply that’s less than the demand. It can be due to the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls with time.

PAD can lead to numbness and tingling sensations. If left untreated, it can lead to nerve and tissue damage. In advanced stages, these can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

Note, smoking and obesity can lead to the development of PAD in all age groups.

Blood Clots

Blood clots in the legs are another cause of a circulatory problem. If a clot breaks and travels to the heart or lungs, the side effects are dangerous and deadly. The good news is, they can be treated effectively when detected early.


Diabetes has various ill effects on the body and reducing circulation in the legs is one of them. The symptoms can include pain and cramping. Diabetes can also damage the arteries and cause poor blood circulation.


If you want to improve circulation in your legs, drop those extra pounds. In case you are overweight and have a sedentary lifestyle, your chances of developing blood vessel problems are much higher.

Varicose Veins

This is another effect of poor circulation. when the veins in the legs become engorged and twisted. The condition is a result of the improper functioning of the valves inside the veins. As a result, the blood flow slows, and the blood accumulates inside the veins. 

The condition is found in obese people and in those who sit or stand for long hours. It’s also related to age and genetics.

Raynaud’s Disease

This is a rare disorder of the blood vessels that can cause coldness in the legs and hands. Since the arteries narrow down in this condition, blood circulation is affected. Women and people who live in extremely cold climates have higher chances of having this disease.

What Can be Done at Home to Prevent Issues?

Most importantly, you need to consult your doctor regarding any symptoms of poor circulation. However, there are some general steps that you can take for prevention. The right lifestyle changes can go a long way in mitigating the risks.

A Healthy Diet

Consuming the right food is essential for reducing circulatory problems. For that, you need to cut out junk food and focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Include foods like berries, pomegranates, salmons, olive oil, and dark chocolate that help in improving blood circulation.

Regular Exercise

If you feel that exercise can be detrimental for your feet in case of a circulatory problem, think again. Regular low-impact exercise like walking, swimming, and yoga can have various beneficial effects on the circulatory system. For patients with mobility issues, assisted physical therapy can be a good alternative.

Besides, the combination of a healthy diet and exercise also helps in maintaining the right weight. This will have a positive effect on the entire body.

Applying Warmth and Compression 

The combination of these two steps can help in increasing blood flow in the legs. Some of the best ways are a foot massage or using compression stockings. Pneumatic compression devices can also be used. 

Using a heating pad or a blanket along with compression can help in reducing the pain and swelling. This can be more effective in cold weather.

Quit Smoking

Here’s a no-brainer. Smoking is extremely damaging for the entire circulatory system and can increase the associated risk factors. If you are a smoker with a circulatory issue, it’s time to kick the habit.

When to See Us for Circulatory Problems and Foot Health?

Make no mistake about it. Symptoms of circulatory problems are not just about foot health. They are related to deeper issues that can take a serious turn if left untreated.

When the symptoms are regular and taking an uncomfortable turn, it’s time to consult an expert without delay. The treatment plan for each patient will vary depending on the symptoms, medical history, and anatomy.

Remember, the earlier the problem gets detected the better your chances of returning to a healthy and active life. So, schedule your appointment with Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma by calling our office or filling out our online contact form.  

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