Symptoms of Poor Circulation In this article, we will focus on the symptoms of poor circulation and when you should seek medical help. Signs of Poor Circulation 1. Varicose Veins If the valves in the veins of the legs are damaged, your blood will find it difficult to get back to the heart. This results in engorged veins and will eventually cause varicosities in the legs. Varicose veins are more common to those who regularly stand for long periods. 2. Painful Muscle Cramping The most common symptom of poor circulation is claudication, described as muscle discomfort or painful cramping, particularly in the legs. This is felt when you exercise or walk and usually disappears after resting your legs. The muscles that are most involved are the hips, thighs or calves. Claudication happens if there is a hindrance to the normal blood flow. For example, in atherosclerosis, where there is a buildup of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels, the muscles cannot get enough blood during physical activity. The cramping pain is the muscle’s way of warning you that it is not getting enough blood during exercise to meet its increased demand. 3. Numbness or Weakness Reduced blood flow to different body parts may cause slow and irreversible damage to the nerves, which may be felt as tingling, numbness or weakness in that area. This is particularly alarming because having numbness on the extremities decreases your skin’s sensitivity to pain. As a result, there may be instances where your skin has already been damaged or wounded, but you cannot feel it. 4. Temperature Differences in the Extremities Poor circulation can lead to fluctuations in your skin’s temperature regulation. For example, reduced blood flow to your hands or feet may make them colder than the other parts of your body. To assess the temperature of your skin, you can use the back of your hands for a more accurate assessment. 5. Wounds That Do Not Heal or Heal Slowly Wounds heal by the different components and cells delivered through the bloodstream to the affected area. When blood flow is compromised, the healing process takes much longer and may even lead to infections. Even the slightest break in the skin may lead to catastrophic changes that could lead to amputation, especially in people with diabetes. 6. Change of Skin Color When there is insufficient blood flow, the skin may appear pale or blue (cyanosis). The change of color in the skin indicates that the oxygen-rich blood is unable to reach those tissues. The commonly affected body parts that may have this symptom are the toes, fingers, palms, soles and lips. [youmaylike] 7. Poor Hair or Nail Growth Hair and nails need the nutrients in your body to keep them healthy. Nutrients are delivered to the hair and nails through the blood. Therefore, any blockage or hindrance of the normal circulation of blood may affect the growth of healthy hair and nails, which can lead to hair loss or poor nail growth. 8. Shiny Skin on Legs Shiny skin on the legs can indicate that the skin stretched due to excess fluids in the legs. Poor circulation can cause blood pooling in the legs, resulting in fluid leakage from the blood vessels to the surrounding tissues. In turn, the skin will stretch, giving it a shiny appearance. 9. Weak Pulses When blood flow is restricted, the usual, brisk pulses on the extremities become weaker. Doctors usually include this in their physical examination to rule out any peripheral arterial disease. 10. Erectile Dysfunction in Men The penis is made up mostly of blood vessels. Penile erection happens because the arteries of the penis are filled up with blood to elongate and stiffen the organ. When there is poor circulation, blood cannot fill up the blood vessels in the penis. Most cases of impotence are a complication primarily of the arterial system. What is Poor Circulation? Poor circulation is not a condition in itself, but having any of its symptoms may indicate more serious conditions, such as: Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Uncontrolled diabetes. Blood clots. Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in the vessels). Heart conditions. Having poor circulation may not be apparent initially. Still, whether you experience symptoms or not, it is important to be aware of them early on to help detect the underlying cause. For example, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are all factors that increase the likelihood of a person experiencing poor circulation symptoms. In Review The symptoms of poor circulation may vary for each person. In general, conditions that cause poor circulation are easier to treat when your doctor detects it early. If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect that it may be caused by a dysfunction in your normal blood circulation, it is essential that you see your doctor for assessment and treatment right away.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and irritated. Luckily, it is a treatable condition. Stretching, massages and using proper footwear can decrease symptoms.
The condition can make it difficult and painful to walk, so it's important to treat it quickly so you can go back to your normal lifestyle. Let's take a look at the best treatment options for plantar fasciitis.
7 Best Treatment Options
So, you have got heel pain. Now, what? You actually have quite a few options. Below offers an outline of some of the most popular ones.
1. Calf Stretching
In many cases, plantar fasciitis can be caused by tight calves or a tight Achilles heel. This usually happens due to high levels of activity without adequate stretching. Thus, part of your solution to plantar fasciitis may be stretching your calf muscles regularly.
To do so, find a wall nearby. Place both your hands on the wall and extend your affected foot back, pressing the heel down into the floor. As you do this, lean forward into the wall. You should feel a gentle stretch on your back leg. Hold here for about 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure to do both sides (this can actually help prevent plantar fasciitis from developing in both feet).
2. Use Custom Insoles
Custom insoles are fitted to your feet. This offers the support your feet and body needs, including abnormal foot motion or collapsed arches (flat feet). Often referred to as orthotics, you will need to go to a clinic or center that specializes in making these. You’ll usually go in for making the mold, then have a follow-up appointment to ensure the insoles fit correctly.
3. Wear Proper Footwear
Walking in high heels or flip-flops can lead to improper gait and foot movements. As a result, you are more likely to experience plantar fasciitis after doing so. A quick fix (and preventative tactic)? Wear proper footwear! If you are planning on walking for a set duration, put on sneakers or shoes suited to the activity. This may further involve wearing insoles made specifically for you, as mentioned above.
4. Ice the Painful Area
Icing can help reduce pain and decrease inflammation. Aim to ice your affected foot for about 10 to 15 minutes, about three to four times each day. Ensure you place a cloth between your skin and the ice pack to prevent any damage caused by the cold. It may further help to roll a cold water bottle along the bottom of your foot (this can help release tension and knots in that connective tissue). However, if this causes more pain, don’t continue.
5. Limit Physical Activity
Unfortunately, the main treatment for plantar fasciitis involves resting. This means no walking or running. Yet, you can still exercise, but you may simply need to explore different options, such as floor movements or sitting exercises over standing. Ideally, you likely want to limit your physical activity until the pain subsides.
6. Lose Weight
If excess weight is a contributing factor to your plantar fasciitis, your doctor may recommend losing weight and working toward a healthier weight. As such, you may need to change certain lifestyle habits. This may involve eating healthier and cutting out processed foods.
When it comes to exercise, you may opt for options that don’t put pressure on your feet, such as swimming or biking. The key is to start slow and gradually build up your resistance, frequency or intensity.
7. Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are knowledgeable when it comes to the musculoskeletal system and biomechanics of the body. They can help determine the reason why you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, helping you come up with strategies to reduce your pain and prevent it from happening again.
As part of your physical therapy treatment, you may undergo manual therapy, be given prescribed exercises and stretches, as well as be provided with advice on types of shoes to wear or what type of activities you can do.
Plantar Fasciitis Signs and Symptoms
The most common signs of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain in the heel, or near the heel.
- Increased pain after walking or exercise.
- Pain in the arch of the foot.
- Increased pain in the morning.
- Swelling in the heel.
- Pain in the heel that goes on for months at a time.
- A tight Achilles heel or calf muscle.
Plantar fasciitis can occur due to several reasons, such as:
- Wearing improper footwear.
- Carrying excess weight.
- Running, jumping, working or walking on hard surfaces.
- Standing for long durations.
- Exercising without properly stretching the calves.
All in all, plantar fasciitis is treatable. You don’t have to experience ongoing heel pain for the rest of your life, nor do you have to experience recurring heel pain. Taking proper care and the proper measures to prevent it go a long way, as well as help you maintain your health well into the future.