Poor Circulation & Foot Care
By Dr. Daniel Tamez, PVA Vascular Surgeon
Why should I be concerned about leg pain and circulation problems?
There are many causes for leg pain, but one of the main reasons is poor circulation which can lead to numerous health conditions or worsen those you already have. There are many causes of poor circulation, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Smokers are also at a high risk.
The reduced blood flow results in less oxygen being delivered to all parts of the body, which can hinder the body’s ability to function normally.
Poor circulation that is not addressed can develop into a serious disorder, and can lead to amputations, strokes and heart attacks.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation in Legs
- Painful cramping of the muscles in the hip, thigh, or calf after activity (claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in the lower leg or foot, compared with other parts of the body
- A sore, poorly healing wound or ulcer on the toe, foot, or leg
- Change in skin color or shiny skin on the legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on the feet and legs
- Slower toenail growth
- No pulse or a weak pulse in the legs or feet
Caring for your Legs
Foot care is especially important for those with poor circulation to the foot (peripheral vascular disease). Some ways of better caring for your feet include:
- Wearing proper shoes to avoid placing undue pressure on certain areas of the foot and to prevent injury
- Practicing proper foot hygiene and taking gentle care of corns and calluses
- Inspecting your feet daily
- Seeking help from your doctor for any wounds, sores, or infections on the foot that won’t heal.
How Can I Prevent Poor Circulation in My Legs?
There is a lot you can do to prevent poor circulation in your legs. In addition to following your doctor’s advice, you can make lifestyle changes that will greatly reduce your risk factors for poor circulation.
Smoking cessation not only improves blood circulation but also prevents a host of other diseases, including diabetes. Regular exercise — at least 30 minutes a day — will help tremendously. Eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables is also important for good health, and helps the body function normally.
To learn more about Leg Circulation Problems visit pvasatx.com or call (210) 237-4444 to set up an appointment with a PVA vascular specialist.