A common cause of circulation problems in the lower legs is peripheral artery disease, a condition that causes narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels, states Healthline. Atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the blood vessels and arteries, can also cause circulation problems in the lower legs.
Atherosclerosis causes the arteries to stiffen. Both peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis can result in pain and decreased blood flow in the lower legs and extremities. Blood clots that block the flow of blood partially or entirely in the lower legs can also cause circulation problems, according to Healthline. Individuals with varicose veins may experience circulation problems because the damaged veins cannot move blood efficiently. Varicose veins can also contribute to the production of blood clots.
Individuals with diabetes are also prone to poor circulation, which may affect the lower legs, explains Healthline. Pain and cramping in the lower legs related to poor circulation can increase in intensity when patients are physically active. Diabetic neuropathy often reduces sensation in the lower legs. Obesity is a common cause of circulation problems in the extremities and lower legs. Sitting or standing for long periods of time puts stress on the lower legs when people are overweight, which ultimately can cause blood vessel problems, varicose veins and poor circulation.