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What Does Poor Circulation Mean for My Feet and Ankles?

Poor circulation in your lower limbs means that there is reduced blood flow to the feet and ankles. This can produce a variety of symptoms. Some of the more common signs of poor blood flow is numbness, tingling, or a pins and needles sensation in the feet. Reduced blood flow can also make the feet colder than the rest of the body. Edema, or swelling due to a buildup of fluids in the lower limbs, is also common. When your lower limbs swell, they may feel heavy, stiff, painful, and warm. Other signs of poor circulation include joint pain, muscle cramps, skin discoloration, varicose veins, and poorly healing wounds on the lower limbs. Sometimes, however, poor circulation in the lower limbs can be asymptomatic and require vascular testing to detect it. If you are experiencing any symptoms of poor circulation in your feet and ankles, or if you are older and are at a higher risk of developing poor circulation, please seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat this condition. 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Seaford Foot Care Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.


Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Seaford, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

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