Your legs feel sluggish or they ache, your toes are numb and tingling, or you’ve developed varicose veins — these are all common signs of circulation problems in your lower extremities.
Thankfully, there’s much that Dr. Ariel Soffer and the team here at Soffer Health Institute can do to improve the circulation in your legs. We review these treatments here, as well as important steps that you can take on your own to improve the blood flow in your legs.
Behind the poor circulation
Your body contains two main types of blood vessels — arteries that carry blood away from your heart and veins that deliver blood back to your heart.
Poor circulation in your legs can stem from either of these groups of blood vessels, and the primary culprits are:
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) — the one-way valves in the veins in your legs weaken, allowing blood to pool
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) — clogged arteries prevent your legs from receiving enough oxygen-rich blood
These issues can lead to a wide range of symptoms, some of which we described in the introduction, such as leg pain, swollen legs, varicose veins, and numbness and tingling in your feet.
Remedying poor circulation in your legs
Our first step in addressing poor circulation in your legs is to identify where the problem lies, which will dictate our treatment recommendations to a large degree.
If, for example, we find that you have chronic venous insufficiency, we may recommend that you wear compression stockings, which help prevent blood from pooling in your legs. Rest assured, if you’ve developed varicose veins as a result of your CVI, we offer a wide range of treatment options to eliminate them.
If, on the other hand, we find that clogged arteries are hampering the flow of blood to your legs, we take steps to keep the passageways clear. This might include pharmaceutical solutions, such as blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering medications, and high blood pressure medications, all of which can improve your circulation. Blood thinners are also effective in destroying any potentially dangerous blood clots that might form.
In more severe cases of PAD, we may recommend a procedure called an angioplasty, during which a balloon is inserted into your clogged artery and inflated, which helps open the blood vessel again.
Steps to take on your own to improve leg circulation
As important as our treatments are for poor leg circulation, the actions you take on your own are equally as critical.
One of the most important steps you can take is literal steps — moving. Exercise is one of the most effective avenues to improving your circulation and your overall cardiovascular health. To get started, review these guidelines from the American Heart Association.
If you’re a smoker, you should quit, as smoking is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to poor circulation.
Diet can also play a critical role in improving the circulation in your legs. If you eat a lot of fried foods and store-bought baked goods that are high in trans fats, you run the risk of raising your blood cholesterol, which can lead to narrowing in your blood vessels. By replacing the junk foods in your diet with healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you can boost your circulatory health.
It’s important to note that the earlier we can address poor circulation in your legs, the better the chances is of halting and reversing the problem. Through our treatments and your lifestyle changes, we can dramatically improve your circulation and restore that spring in your step.
To get on the road to better leg circulation, contact one of our offices in Weston, or Aventura, Florida.