If you’ve been told that you have poor circulation, it means that you have less blood reaching certain areas of the body than what is ‘normal’ – and what is needed for optimal tissue health. Poor circulation can affect the function of every cell – and your body’s ability to maintain healthy function. Today, the Sole Motion Podiatry team are sharing what circulation problems may mean for you and your foot health.
Your heart is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood and nutrients around your body via your arteries. Once the oxygen and nutrients reach your cells, the oxygen-depleted blood is pumped back to the heart through the veins.
When your circulation is impaired and the blood can’t easily access certain areas, symptoms may begin. The rate at which your symptoms develop are largely related to how severely your blood flow is reduced. Often, your symptoms will come on gradually and worsen over time. As the arms and legs (the peripheries) are the farthest away from the heart, this is usually where symptoms start.
Think of what happens when your arm or leg ‘falls asleep’ from having the blood flow accidentally restricted – it can feel cool, numb and may have pins and needles as the blood comes rushing back. This is what happens over time with poor circulation, except very gradually. Generally, you may experience:
When you understand what is hindering your circulation, you can use the right solution to help improve or restore it. Circulation is mostly primarily impaired when the arteries are narrowed, restricting blood flow throughout the body. This may be caused by:
A big problem that we often see as podiatrists when it comes to impaired circulation is that cuts and wounds take longer to heal. This happens because it takes longer to get the nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to the wound area for the healing process.
The longer a wound is ‘open’ for, the longer it is vulnerable to infection. When an infection does take hold, the impaired circulation means that it takes longer to fight and manage the infection, with some people struggling to clear infections altogether. This is when problems like ulcers and secondary infections (like gangrene) arise.
Making small changes every day can make a big impact on your health, as every step adds up! Try to
If you’re worried about your foot and leg health, we can help. We perform assessments that examine the blood flow in the major arteries of your feet, and use a non invasive Doppler ultrasound to get a clear picture of what is going on. We’ll then work with you to help you reduce your risks, maintain your foot health, and help promote your circulation.