The right amount of blood flow is
crucial to existence as it keeps the heart pumping, legs moving and brain
functioning. And if you experience pain when you walk or your leg is seen
swelling below the knees or feels tight persistently, then you are suffering
from poor blood circulation.
Poor blood circulation is a leading cause and common symptom of high blood pressure, although this need not be the only reason. There are many ailments and lifestyle disorders that can go to cause poor blood circulation. Most prominent of them include diabetes, anemia, varicose veins and blood vessel disorders, heart disorders, circulatory disorders, thyroid disorders, pneumonia, pregnancy, artificial insufficiency, nerve disorders, asthma and bronchitis. Lifestyle disorders include obesity, inactivity, smoking, bad postures, regular sitting or standing in one position and poor diet.
Essence of blood circulation
Certain substances like cholesterol or blocked arteries can cause the blood flow to slow down. When blood cannot reach every part of the body several health consequences occur. In this process even the brain gets affected. Decreased blood flow to the brain can cause several ailments such as dizziness, breathlessness, inability to think clearly and decrease in motor functioning.
Poor blood circulation also leads to blood clots, which can be the cause of amputation, heart attack, stroke and even death. Hence, it is imperative that immediate treatment is sought for any issue concerning circulation.
A common cause for restricted flow of blood in the legs is 'peripheral vascular disease'. In addition to PVD, other major causes for poor blood circulation includes smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, pregnancy, nerve and thyroid conditions, sitting in a cramped position for long durations.
The sole of the feet consists of a series of large veins called Venous Plexus. These veins are stretched when one walks and blood squeezed out. Thus blood is back from the extremities of the feet to the heart in a natural way.
The blood that is returning to the heart has to fight against gravity and pushed up mainly by Venous Plexus in conjunction with the calf muscles. During this process, there could be valves inside the veins that can stop the blood from going backwards. In the absence of stimulation from both the mechanisms, blood begins to pool and get clotted. This eventually leads to degeneration.
The major problems caused by poor leg circulation are swollen legs, cold and numb feet as well as pain the calves and legs. Poor leg circulation manifests as cramping or fatigue in the legs, feet and buttocks. Although the pain may diminish with rest, it is bound to recur. Blood clots that can occur to persons with poor blood circulation are referred to as 'deep vein thrombosis'. This happens when the vein is damaged and if blood flows slows down or stops completely. Obese persons above age 40 run the risk of DVT.
Some common relief solutions for poor leg circulation are suggested below.
As poor leg circulation is a condition that can pose serious health consequences, it is better to consult a physician immediately. Several medications are available to treat blood circulation in the legs and help in prevention.