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.
Sprained Ankle Treatment
An ankle sprain occurs when there is an eversion or inversion of your foot (a twist of your ankle) that causes your ligaments to stretch or tear. The eversion or inversion can be caused by either a fall, an accident involving someone stepping on your foot, or walking on an uneven surface.
The ankle has three ligaments that prevent excessive movement and stabilize your joints. Most sprains are inversions that injure the ligaments on the outer side of your ankle. The severity of the damage caused by an eversion/inversion determines if the injury is a twist, sprain, or fracture.
After you twist your ankle, you should be able to walk it off immediately, or your ankle should be back to normal after a day of home treatment. Ideally, a twisted ankle may not require medical intervention.
A sprain means you have an excessive stretch or tear of the ligaments. Your ankle may be bruised or swollen after the incident. On the other hand, a fractured ankle can only be diagnosed with an x-ray and occurs when the ankle bone is cracked or broken.
A good indication of a fractured ankle is that you would have probably heard a cracking sound at the time of the injury. If you have excessive pain, your ankle is numb, or it looks crooked and cannot bear weight, it is probably fractured.
Treatment Options for Sprained Ankle
A sprained ankle treatment protocol is indicated by the abbreviation RICE, which means:
Rest may mean you’ll be restricted from activities that will put undue weight on your injured ankle. A doctor may put you on bed rest for the first two days after sustaining an injury. The unnecessary movement will strain your ankle further and may delay the healing process.
Ice will reduce pain and inflammation. You should apply an ice pack immediately after sustaining the injury to minimize swelling. After that, subject the ankle to the ice for 15 minutes three or more times a day for the first three days.
If you’re in pain after the three days of ice therapy, apply heat to soothe the pain. Heat treatment relaxes tissue and stimulates the flow of blood to the affected area. Use moderate heat for a limited time, and never leave the heat pad or towel on yourself for extended periods or while sleeping. Whether applying heat or ice, do not apply directly to the skin but place a towel over the ankle and then apply the necessary treatment.
Compression means wrapping the ankle with an elastic wrap or bandage. The wrapping compresses the area, reduces swelling, and helps stabilize and minimize the ankle’s movement.
It is advisable to have a sports injury medic wrap the ankle for you or watch this video on how to wrap an injured ankle.
Anytime you’re sitting or lying down, elevate the injured foot to a level above your heart. Elevation also minimizes swelling.
5. Medication and Therapy
Depending on the severity of the injury and pain level, you may purchase over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen to help manage the painful inflammation.
To give the ligaments enough time to heal, and if the injured foot cannot bear weight, you may need to walk with crutches. Your doctor may also recommend the use of an ankle brace for immobilization of the joint. Ankle braces also provide compression and heat, which are essential for healing.
Once the swelling eases, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy to restore the ankle's strength and stability. Your doctor may recommend surgery to repair or reconstruct a ligament that isn't healing in rare situations.
Sprains almost always heal quickly, especially if the RICE. protocol is followed keenly within the first 72 hours of injury. Restraining from activities could mean a faster healing process, especially if you're young. Sprains can be avoided by wearing the right gear and using equipment correctly.