Poor blood circulation in the legs may cause foot pain. The disorder is common in diabetic people where nerves and blood vessels are damaged, explains NHS Choices.
Poor circulation typically indicates health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or obesity, according to FootSmart. It also often occurs due to peripheral vascular disease, in which blood does not flow properly to and from the heart.
Peripheral artery disease causes foot circulation problems, as the disease causes hardening and thickening of the arterial walls that supply blood to the legs, according MedlinePlus. PAD is a disease more prominent in men over 50 years old.
Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of poor blood circulation, according to MD-Health.com. Other possible causes are venous thrombosis, insufficient exercise, tight-fitting clothing and stress.
Symptoms of poor circulation in the legs include numbness and burning, achy leg muscles, poorly healing sores and shiny skin and loss of hair on the legs, according to WebMD. Legs that feel cooler than arms and a light pulse in the feet are also peripheral artery disease symptoms.
Poor circulation can cause redness in the toes, tingling sensations and foot cramps, according to FootSmart. The toes may also turn blue to purple in color. Skin discoloration is often due to venous insufficiency, a condition in which blood flow between the leg veins and the heart becomes restricted
Abnormal circulation can cause skin discoloration, including blue, white or red hands, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center. However, poor circulation normally results in white or bluish skin, and redness results from a rush of blood returning to the deprived area, notes the Sclerod
Diabetics have poor circulation because the high blood glucose levels which they experience over a period of years lead to blood vessel damage, according to Diabetes.co.uk. When the blood vessels are damaged, they are unable to supply enough blood to nearby cells due to plaque formation.
Exercise is one of the few recommended home remedies for poor leg circulation, which is also known as peripheral artery disease, according to Cleveland Clinic. Most patients use a walking program to get their exercise.
Poorcirculation.org notes that medication can be used to treat poor circulation; however, there are many side effects. Quality Health lists a few effective ways to improve circulation, such as exercise, massage, compression stockings and herbs.