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Causes of Poor Foot Circulation

Tuesday, 05 December 2023 00:00

Effective blood circulation is vital for overall health, and when it comes to your lower extremities, poor circulation can have profound consequences. Several factors contribute to poor foot circulation. A primary culprit is atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, restricting blood flow. Diabetes, with its potential impact on blood vessels, can increase circulation issues in the feet. Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, another common cause, involves the narrowing of arteries outside the heart, often affecting the legs and feet. Lifestyle choices, such as a sedentary routine or smoking, can contribute to poor circulation by impeding blood vessel function. Blood clots, whether originating in the legs or forming elsewhere and traveling to the feet, can obstruct blood flow. Nerve damage, often associated with conditions like neuropathy, may disrupt the signals that regulate blood vessel dilation and constriction. Additionally, varicose veins, characterized by enlarged and weakened veins, can impede efficient blood circulation. Aging also plays a role, as blood vessels may lose elasticity over time. If you have poor circulation in your feet, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine the cause and offer effective treatment options.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . 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
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