Do your feet and toes experience swelling and cramping? Or are you unable to walk a block without experiencing pains in both your feet and toes? Or do your feet and toes feel ice cold? Unfortunately, you have poor blood circulation. This is caused by either life choices or health conditions. Either way, it can put you at risk of bigger problems.
Several conditions can lead to poor circulation, which includes diabetes, obesity, arterial issues, and heart conditions. It is very important the cause of your poor circulation because the sooner you know what cause the problem, the sooner you can find a solution. However, you don’t have to worry because poor blood circulation is treatable.
Symptoms of poor blood circulation
The most common symptoms of poor circulation include:
- Numbness and tingling in your limbs
- Throbbing or stinging pain in your limbs
- Varicose veins
- Muscle cramps
Causes of Poor Circulation
Peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis
The narrowing of peripheral arteries result in peripheral artery diseases (PAD) which is one of the common circulatory problems. With the arteries getting tighter, there may not be enough blood flow to the other parts of your body to function normally.
There is a related condition known as atherosclerosis in which the plaque builds up inside your arteries, causing them to stiffen.
Both PAD and atherosclerosis result in decreased blood flow and can result in pain. Restricted blood flow in your limbs can cause numbness, tingling, and damage to the nerves and tissues. If not detected and treated early, this can lead to a stroke or a heart attack, which may be fatal.
People over 50 years are more prone to have PAD, but younger people can suffer from it, too. In addition, frequent smokers are at a greater risk of developing PAD early in life.
Blood clots are beneficial in a way that they help to stop bleeding. But since they are stationary, blood clots can also block proper blood flow, either partially or completely. They may occur on any part of the body, but a blood clot developing from the arms and/or legs most likely leads to circulatory problems. It is possible to have a blood clot without any symptoms.
There are many reasons why blood clots develop, and they can pose very dangerous health risks. A blood clot can break away from its location of origin (usually a leg or arm) and pass through other parts of your body, which includes your heart, lungs, or brain. It can also lead to a stroke. If not detected or prevented early, it can result in more serious complications or death. The chances of successfully preventing these worst-case scenarios depend on how early blood clots are discovered and treated.
These veins are enlarged veins caused by valve failure. The veins appear knotted, swollen, and sticking out of your skin. Although they can happen on any part of the body, they are commonly found on the ankles and the back of the legs. The damaged veins can’t move blood as efficiently as other veins, so poor circulation may become a problem. Although varicose veins are not usually associated with blood clots, extreme cases of varicose veins can result to these complications.
If you think diabetes affects only your blood sugar, remember that there are more complications brought by it. Diabetes causes poor blood circulation, leading to cramps in your legs, thighs, calves, and buttocks. The pain can be severe especially if you’re active.
Obesity, excessive weight gain, and a stationary and sedentary lifestyle can also cause poor circulation, leading to cramps in the extremities.
Raynaud’s disease can also cause poor circulation. It is a rare condition that affects the blood vessels, causing your fingers and toes to turn white and feel cold. This happens especially if you’re under stress.
Diagnosing Poor Circulation
Poor circulation can be a tell-tale sign of other disorders, so it is best to go to the doctor as early as possible. Knowing what causes poor circulation will help him diagnose the symptoms. If you have any family history of poor blood circulation or any other conditions related to it, it’s important to disclose it to your doctor so that he can assess your risk factors better. It will also help him to determine which diagnostic tests are appropriate and safe.
Your doctor is most likely to order a general physical exam. Apart from that exam, he may also order other tests which can include an immunoglobulin (antibodies) test, a blood sugar test for diabetes, a CT scan, an ultrasound, or a blood pressure test which includes a test on your legs. He may also order a blood test for the D-dimer levels in the blood, to determine whether your blood clotting is normal. A higher D-dimer means you have a significant formation and breakdown of a blood clot in your body.
How to Improve Circulation in Feet and Toes?
Poor blood circulation usually indicates an underlying health problem. It can become serious if it’s not detected early, that’s why it’s important to find out what may be the cause of the issue as soon as possible.
Lack of exercise, diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and high blood pressure are some of the common causes of poor blood circulation.
There are many ways to increase blood flow throughout your entire body. Here are some tips to improve circulation in feet and toes:
Drink more water daily
Drinking plenty of water can have a big impact on your health benefits. It’s also great for circulation, and will also help to hydrate your body’s cell and get rid of waste.
Exercise is a great help to deal with poor blood circulation. From taking a simple walk in your neighborhood to playing basketball, doing exercises can go a long way to address your poor circulation issues. Just try to keep your body moving regularly. Even cleaning the house will do (and you will also enjoy a sparkling clean abode).
If you want to get rid of poor circulation, keep yourself fit and meditate at the same time, you can try yoga! Contrary to what you think, yoga is actually easy to do — anyone can do it! It’s also cost-effective particularly if you attend some classes. Check out certain yoga poses that will promote good blood circulation especially to your legs, feet, and toes.
Wear Well Fitted Shoes
Ill-fitting shoes and footwear can obstruct proper blood flow to your lower extremities. So if you’re working at the office or other corporate setting, it’s better to bring an extra comfy pair of shoes that you can change into during working hours.
Avoid ill-fitting clothes
If you really want to get rid of poor blood circulation to your feet and legs, avoid wearing ill-fitting pieces of clothing such as skinny jeans, tight workout clothes, and even tight socks. These can impede good blood circulation.
Change your lifestyle
Changing your lifestyle can help in improving your circulatory condition. If your occupation requires you to sit or stand most of the time, make sure to take breaks even if it’s only a few minutes. Abstain from bad habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, poor diet, etc. Even if you do these things by a piecemeal, doing them can significantly make a difference in your life.
Take proper care of your feet
Learn to take good care of your feet by wearing the right-fitting shoes and other types of footwear. Regular good hygiene habits will also make your feet happy by cleaning them regularly and trimming the toenails properly.
Here are some products available in the market today which could help in improving feet and toe circulation.
This product is highly recommended by professionals and is a top recommendation since it is great for those with a sedentary lifestyle or those who are suffering from poor circulation. It greatly helps in restoring the normal condition of a damaged lymphatic system. Not just that! It also aids in minimizing pain and eliminating inflammation due to circulation problems.
It comes with four various advanced modes to cater to your needs. These include sequential, massager, peristaltic, and peristaltic+sequential (auto mode). All of these modes feature different pressure settings which range from 0 to 230 mmHg. From its features alone, this has got to be one of the most impressive compression devices on the market today.
- It promotes blood circulation.
- It helps in reducing pain and swelling.
- It is FDA-approved.
- It minimizes swelling of the lymphatic system.
- It comes with good boot size.
- It is user-friendly.
- It works only with 110v power.
- It shuts off every 15 minutes, which can be an issue for some people who may want to have longer-lasting usage.
This is not like other foot massagers that use rollers. Instead, it uses power and speed of up to 3,700 RPM which you will surely love if vigorous foot massages are your thing. It features a single footpad which is angled just right for promoting comfort and good blood circulation in your feet. Just put your feet on the pad, turn it on, and sit back and relax. It’s just that easy! And it’s super-effective too, giving you the ultimate foot relief you’re looking for.
- It features 11 speeds.
- It can be used with your shoes or socks on.
- It has a built-in arch bar for toes and heels.
- It offers a superb warranty option.
- It is one of the most powerful foot massagers you can find on the market.
- It may be a bit too expensive for some people.
- It doesn’t come with remote control.
This shower foot scrubber may be the most low-tech on the list of foot circulation/foot care aids, but nevertheless it is one of the most effective. If you have tired and aching feet, step on this scrubber while having a bath! If you have itchy, flaky, or calloused feet, this shower foot scrubber will definitely help in restoring your feet’s natural softness and suppleness.
- It helps in removing dead skin cells from your feet.
- It cleans soapy feet.
- It is the ultimate foot spa.
- It doesn’t need any electricity or batteries.
- It is absolutely easy to use.
- You can take it anywhere.
- It may not be preferred by people who hate to be tickled
Many people around the world suffer from poor circulation in their feet and toes. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve feet and toe circulation. When caught early, conditions that lead to poor circulation are treatable