Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

What Is Poor Circulation?

Poor circulation refers to inadequate blood flow to a part of the body. Poor circulation to the legs and feet is particularly concerning as it can lead to serious medical complications, in severe cases this could include amputation. The most common symptoms of poor circulation are numbness and tingling in the feet, cold feet, swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs, skin color changes, and foot ulcers. Poor circulation is typically caused by plaque buildup in the blood vessels. The plaque hardens and narrows the blood vessels, restricting blood flow to the affected areas. When those affected areas are the lower limbs, this is known as peripheral artery disease or PAD. A podiatrist can screen for this condition during a routine visit. If you experience poor circulation to the lower limbs, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist today.

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 Active Foot and Ankle Care, LLC. 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 offices located in Fair Lawn, Riverdale, and Englewood, NJ . 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
Hackensack UMC Logo American Podiatric Medical Association American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons The Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine Atlas