Blood flow circulation impacts all bodily functions and systems and is critical to overall health. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body and helps remove waste products. If you suffer from poor circulation, you need to know how to increase blood flow as well as how to identify what causes it.
What Causes Poor Blood Flow?
When blood isn’t flowing efficiently, it can lead to many health issues. This includes numbness of the extremities, bloating, and a lack of overall energy. Poor blood flow isn’t a medical condition on its own but rather a symptom of an underlying health problem. It’s important to recognize when the blood isn’t circulating adequately, to know how to make your blood flow better, and to seek treatment to deal with the health condition that is responsible before it does more damage or leads to other serious issues.
Poor blood flow can be caused by a variety of health conditions. They include:
- High blood pressure causes blood to push against the walls of the vessel with more force and can weaken the vessels
- Atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup, which narrows the opening for blood flow
- Diabetes, which can lead to blood vessel problems and cause numbness as well as diabetic neuropathy, which leads to reduced sensation in the arms and legs
- Deep vein thrombosis, caused by a blood clot in the leg, reducing blood flow to the area
- Pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot that travels to the lungs and causes damage
- Peripheral artery disease, a circulatory condition that often impacts the legs and feet
- Varicose veins, caused by failure of the valves to close, allowing blood to pool back in the legs
These conditions are serious and can be life-threatening, which is why it is important to identify the symptoms of poor blood flow and to know how to increase blood flow. This can help you determine if a vein disease may be the cause of your poor circulation.
Signs of Poor Blood Flow
Before learning how to increase blood flow, you should know the signs. You may experience a wide range of symptoms if you have poor blood flow. They can vary based on the underlying cause of your circulation issues. These symptoms can include the following:
- Pale skin or a bluish tinge
- Cold fingers or toes
- Muscles that feel weak or hurt when you walk
- Feeling a pins and needles sensation on your skin
- Chest pain
- Bulging veins
If you experience these symptoms of poor circulation, you should talk to your doctor. Once they determine the underlying cause, your doctor can recommend treatment to help improve blood flow and reduce symptoms.
How to Improve Blood Flow
Lifestyle plays a key role in blood flow to your body. By adopting some healthy lifestyle habits, you can often improve blood flow and circulation issues. However, these methods won’t reverse vein disease, which is why treatment is critical. If you are looking for tips on how to improve blood flow temporarily and prevent future problems after treatment, here are some suggestions on how to make your blood flow better that can be implemented right away.
Regular exercise helps blood move through your body more efficiently. Walking for 30 minutes a day is one way to start exercising without exhausting your body. Swimming is another option that is easier on the joints if you have mobility issues. Getting your heart rate up will naturally help increase blood flow throughout the body. It also helps with weight loss, which can also improve blood flow and circulation as it takes some of the stress off your blood vessels.
Any cardio is good to get the blood pumping but walking and swimming are often best for beginners or those with other health issues. If you can tolerate other forms of exercise, aerobics and running can also be beneficial. Squats are a great exercise to target the largest muscles in your legs, which helps increase blood flow to your lower body quickly.
Drink Enough Water
Water helps promote blood flow because blood is made up mostly of water. It also aids in reducing high blood pressure and speeds up waste elimination from the body. While the average recommendation is 8 to 12 glasses of water per day, you may need more if you live in a warm climate or exercise in order to improve blood flow. On the other side, limiting your intake of caffeine can help prevent dehydration.
Sitting or standing for long periods of time allows blood to pool in the legs. Elevating the legs can help improve blood flow. Lie down on a bed or the couch with pillows under your legs until they are lifted higher than your heart. You can also rest on your back on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle to the wall.
Stretch Muscles Regularly
Stretching your muscles every day can help improve circulation by increasing the flow of blood. If you sit for work a lot, remind yourself to get up and walk around every hour. Light stretches can increase blood flow without hurting the muscles or causing soreness.
After stretching and exercising, a massage can feel really good to sore and achy muscles. It’s also a great way to increase blood flow and stimulate circulation to help with poor blood flow while getting rid of toxins that build up in your body. Massage increases the temperature of the skin in the area and increases blood flow to that area. When the therapist releases pressure on your body, it causes new blood to move to the area, which improves blood flow.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood pressure to go up and the arteries to narrow, which inhibits blood flow. It can also lead to the release of cholesterol into the bloodstream, which causes atherosclerosis. You can improve your overall health and blood vessels if you make a plan to stop smoking.
Manage Blood Pressure
You hear a lot about high blood pressure and how harmful it is. When your blood pressure is high, it causes the blood to pump faster and harder against the walls of the veins and arteries, which can weaken them. However, low blood pressure can be an indication of problems as well. People with this issue often have poor blood flow and circulation in their hands and feet. You may notice that your extremities are cold, especially when you’re sleeping.
Take a Warm Bath
A warm bath or shower can help improve blood flow temporarily. The warm water allows your veins to expand, which lets more blood flow through your body. You’ll want to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes in the water, keeping it warm the entire time.
How to Increase Blood Flow at USA Vein Clinics
Poor blood flow can be the result of vein disease. Vein disease is a progressive condition that doesn’t go away on its own even with lifestyle changes. Symptoms often worsen over time. When a person develops vein disease, the valves that close off the veins are damaged and allow blood to leak backwards. If this is the case, vein treatment exists to help increase blood flow. USA Vein Clinics provides minimally invasive treatments to help reduce symptoms of vein disease and allow people to live without pain from the condition and enjoy their lives again.
Vein disease treatment options include:
- Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
- Visual sclerotherapy
- Varithena Vein Treatment
- Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy
- VenaSeal™ Treatment
Our vein specialists know how to increase blood flow and use the most advanced technology to treat our patients. If you suffer from varicose veins and have poor blood flow, contact us to learn more about how we can help you. Give us a call at 888.768.3467 or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.