If your legs and feet keep falling asleep, or feel swollen, restless, and heavy, you may be experiencing signs of poor circulation. Although poor circulation is not a health condition in itself, it is often a sign that something is wrong.
One potential cause of poor circulation is vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency. Vein disease is the underlying cause of varicose veins and spider veins.
Below, we discuss what causes poor circulation, poor circulation symptoms, and treatment for poor circulation in legs. If you have additional questions, we recommend consulting a vein specialist.
Common Poor Circulation Symptoms
Poor circulation is when your extremities, such as the legs, ankles, and feet, do not receive sufficient blood and oxygen. When this occurs, you may develop one or more of the following symptoms.
- Cold feet or legs: Reduced blood flow in your feet or legs can cause them to feel colder than other parts of your body. If you experience coldness in your feet or legs, make sure to talk to your doctor.
- Swollen legs, ankles, or feet: When your veins can’t push blood upward towards your heart, it can collect in your lower extremities. This blood pooling puts extra pressure on the area, causing fluid buildup and swelling.
- Muscle cramping: Inconsistent blood flow may lead to muscle cramps, aches, and pains. Since there are many causes of muscle cramping besides poor blood circulation, we recommend seeking medical evaluation for this symptom.
- Numbness: Poor circulation may cause you to experience a tingling or numbing sensation in your thighs, calves, or feet. This can be a sign of venous insufficiency.
- Changes in skin color: A lack of adequate blood flow can lead to skin discoloration. Most often, this affects the legs, ankles, or feet.
- Venous ulcers: Over time, a break in the skin on your leg can become larger and more painful. Without treatment, venous ulcers take a long time to heal or may not heal at all.
- Varicose veins: When blood pools in your veins due to poor circulation, it places pressure on the veins and causes them to expand. Over time, varicose veins can develop.
If you experience one or more signs of poor circulation, be sure to bring them to the attention of a medical professional. Once the underlying cause is identified, poor circulation treatment can be offered to alleviate painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
What Causes Poor Circulation?
There are many potential causes of poor circulation. An experienced vein specialist can help determine what is causing your poor blood circulation, along with providing personalized recommendations.
Causes of poor circulation in legs include:
- Vein disease: An estimated 6-7 million people within the United States suffer from venous insufficiency, or vein disease. It occurs when tiny, one-way vein valves become damaged and malfunction. Vein disease is often associated with physical signs like varicose veins and spider veins, along with venous symptoms like leg swelling, cramping, and heaviness.
- Blood clots: Poor blood circulation symptoms can also be caused by blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious type of blood clot that develops in the deep venous system, is a serious health condition. A DVT can break off and travel to the lungs. This is known as pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening emergency requiring immediate treatment.
- May-Thurner Syndrome: This syndrome describes when the right iliac artery compresses the left iliac vein, restricting blood flow out of the left leg. This can lead to swelling and other signs of poor circulation.
If you are living with poor circulation symptoms, we encourage you to consult your doctor. Some untreated conditions, including DVT, can lead to severe complications. Early detection and treatment of the underlying issue typically lead to the best health outcomes.
Treatment for Poor Circulation in Legs with USA Vein Clinics
If vein disease is behind your poor circulation symptoms, you may benefit from minimally invasive, office-based vein treatment. At USA Vein Clinics, our vein specialists are available to help. Although methods can vary based on individual cases, all of our non-surgical vein treatments aim to close malfunctioning veins and reroute blood flow to healthy, surrounding veins.
Vein treatment can alleviate poor circulation in legs, reduce the risk of developing dangerous health conditions, and improve your quality of life. To learn more, simply schedule an initial consultation online or call 888.768.3467.