If you’ve ever tried to drive out to the coast during rush hour—or tried to find a parking spot when out for dinner during the height of the snowbird season—you know a little about poor circulation, at least as far as traffic is concerned. Just like you want the cars in front of you to keep moving, you want your blood to keep pumping oxygen to your feet efficiently, too.
Myriad causes contribute to poor circulation—diabetes, peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure or cholesterol, smoking or alcohol abuse, or even stress and anxiety can contribute to reduce the blood flow received by your feet and lower legs. And multiple symptoms can result, from fatigue and cramping to tingling or burning sensations to swelling or discoloration.
When flow slows, you’ll want to do your best to get it pumping again. Aside from managing whatever underlying conditions you may have, try these top tips as well:
- Get plenty of exercise! Even walking for just 30 minutes a day, three days a week can have vastly positive outcomes, not only for circulation in your feet, but in terms of whole body health. Remember to warm up and cool down before any intense physical activities.
- Avoid repetitive actions that put pressure on feet, knees, ankles, and other joints. Long periods of sitting or standing, for example, can restrict blood flow. Get up and stretch every hour if you feel feet tingling or falling asleep.
- When you’re resting, elevate your feet above chest level.
- Compression socks or support hosiery can improve circulation, particularly in pregnant women or those who suffer from edema.
- If you smoke, give up the habit. If you drink too much, try to reduce your intake. Reach out to anti-addiction organizations if you need to—they’re here to help.
- Get a massage! We know this option isn’t for everyone, but an appointment every week from a licensed therapist can do wonders for your blood flow.
Reduced circulation is often an early warning sign of a more serious problem. If you notice several instances of tingling, burning, cold feet, or other related symptoms, give Harvey Danciger, DPM a call for an evaluation. The sooner you take action, the better the outcomes will be for prevention, management, and treatment. Contact us online, or give us a call at 760-568-0108.