Treating Poor Circulation in the Legs and Feet
Your first step should be a check-up with your doctor. A vascular physician will diagnose any conditions, prescribe any medications you might need, and formulate an actionable treatment plan for managing your poor circulation.
You may require medication or procedures to treat your conditions, but your doctor will also recommend lifestyle changes. Here are a few simple things you can do -- with your doctor's approval -- to increase your blood circulation.
Get regular exercise Exercise is essential for heart and circulatory health. Low-impact exercise such as walking, stationary bicycling, yoga, and swimming can reduce the discomfort caused by poor circulation and other ailments .
Put your feet up Elevation helps with edema , swelling caused by a build-up of excess fluid, which usually occurs in the feet, ankles, and legs. While not everyone with poor circulation experiences edema, elevating your legs if you're going to be sitting for an extended period is still beneficial.
Wear compression garments If your doctor approves, you can give compression garments a try. Compression increases blood flow, which helps to counteract poor circulation in the legs and feet.
Stop smoking Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Speak to your doctor about a plan to help you kick the habit for good. Quitting decreases your risk of cancer , improves your blood circulation, and lowers your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Maintain a healthy weight Carrying excess weight puts additional strain on your heart, joints, and vascular system. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of diabetes, heart disease, poor blood circulation, and arthritis.
Following a heart-healthy diet like the DASH diet -- short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension -- can lower your blood pressure, improve your blood circulation, and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Eliminating sugar-laden beverages and fattening heavily processed foods will significantly improve your health. But eating healthfully doesn't have to be bland and boring.
A nutrient-rich diet of fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and vegetables and decreasing your intake of processed foods filled with saturated fats will make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. This reduces strain on your joints and feet and improves your blood circulation and heart function.
Your first step in treating poor blood circulation is a visit to your vascular specialist. They may recommend an exercise and diet program and medication, but some patients see the most benefit from a vascular treatment such as angioplasty or bypass surgery.
During an angioplasty procedure, your doctor uses an x-ray to guide a catheter (a thin, hollow tube with a small balloon on the end) through the femoral artery to the blockage in your leg. Your doctor then inflates the balloon to widen your artery, allowing for increased blood flow. In some cases, a thin, mesh tube called a stent is left inside the artery to prevent the blockage from reforming.
Bypass surgery involves attaching veins or synthetic grafts above and below the blockage to reroute blood flow, which increases circulation to the legs and feet.
There is some risk involved in any invasive medical procedure. Speak to your vascular specialist for more details regarding any risks that may pertain to your case specifically.
What to Expect After Treatment From CVM?
At the Center for Vascular Medicine, our mission is to help patients with their vascular diseases in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of venous and arterial diseases in the legs, feet, and pelvis. Our world-class providers are the most experienced in the specialty and work with patients to develop a treatment plan that is custom-tailored to their unique situation.
Typically, this process involves an initial consultation and ultrasound scan at one of our accredited facilities. After reviewing the results of your scan and obtaining a thorough medical history, our providers will discuss the results with you and help you decide on the next steps.
Our health care providers use several diagnostic tests to help determine what vascular diseases may be causing your symptoms. Our initial evaluations utilize ultrasound because this non-invasive imaging modality helps us verify our suspicions on whether your symptoms are caused by underlying vascular disease.
What doctors to visit for poor blood circulation in your legs and feet?
Some patients link their leg pain or feet pain to nerve damage, muscle pain, or bone pain. Many Center for Vascular Medicine patients are referred by other specialists or the primary care doctor. The OBGYN may refer a patient to an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist to treat chronic pelvic pain because of misdiagnosis that the pain is nerve-related. Pelvic pain is caused by poor blood circulation in the pelvic region.
The same can be applied to leg pain or feet discomfort. When you are showing signs and symptoms of poor blood circulation in lower extremities, you should see a vascular doctor first before ruling out other options. The vascular surgeon will conduct a physical, get a detailed history of the patient, analyze the symptoms, and conduct an ultrasound with a vascular technician before making a diagnosis.