7 Ways to Improve Circulation in Legs and Feet
Poor Circulation in Legs and Feet
Poor circulation in legs and feet happens when there is low blood flow to those parts of your body. This typically occurs when there is a blockage in the arteries of the legs. It is important to improve circulation in legs and feet to prevent a number of medical conditions that can result from poor blood flow.
Your arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood from your heart to all of your body including your arms, legs and brain. Healthy arteries are smooth, allowing blood to flow easily providing oxygen, and other necessary nutrients to your legs. Healthy veins allow the blood to return to the heart. Typically, with age, plaque, a sticky substance made up of fat and cholesterol, builds up in the arteries. This plaque causes hardening of the arteries resulting in poor circulation in legs. The inability for oxygen to flow throughout our body causes many problems.
There is a lot you can do to improve circulation in your legs and feet. You can start by making lifestyle changes that will greatly reduce your risk factors for poor circulation. Here are a few helpful tips to improve circulation.
- Get moving. One of the best things you can do to improve circulation is to exercise regularly. Even a simple walk can make a world of a difference in your health.
- Stop smoking. Smoking harms the walls of your arteries and causes plaque. As arteries harden due to plaque it becomes difficult for blood to flow, which significantly decrease circulation.
- Healthy Diet. Eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables is also important to improve circulation, and your overall health.
- Elevate legs. Elevate your legs above your heart for at least 20 minutes a day to improve your circulation and reduced swelling in legs. Take this opportunity to not only take the pressure off your legs, but also decrease stress, relax or meditate.
- Compression stockings. If swelling is your problem, compression stockings will reduce swelling and the risk of blood clots.
- Manage Blood Pressure. Having high blood pressure can damage your heart and arteries.
- See a Vascular Surgeon.
Poor circulation can develop into a serious medical condition including pain, blood clots, non-healing wounds, amputations and strokes.
If you are concerned about your circulation, see a vascular surgeon immediately. A simple, painless and noninvasive test called a duplex ultrasound can determine if you have bad circulation and the severity of the condition.
Based on the severity of your condition, a vascular specialist doctor will determine the best treatment option for you. This includes lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive cath lab procedures such as angioplasty or stenting, all done in a PVA office, or open bypass surgery.
PVA, The Circulation Experts
At PVA, we are blood circulation experts. Each and every day, we focus our knowledge and expertise on improving circulation in legs and feet and throughout the body to help our patients avoid medical complications. For more information on treatment options available, call PVA at 210.237.4444.