Poor circulation is a common health problem that can affect anyone at any age. Although it can happen anywhere in the body, it often affects the lower legs and ankles. In the majority of cases, decreased blood flow to the legs and feet is related to an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, obesity, varicose veins, arterial problems and heart disease. However, it can also be triggered by certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, a lack of regular exercise, poor diet and extended periods of inactivity.
The condition can be extremely debilitating and make everyday activities painful and more difficult than they should be. However, it is possible to reduce symptoms and treat the underlying cause.
What are the symptoms?
Circulation problems in the lower limbs can vary from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms include a numb or tingling sensation in the legs and feet, swelling around the legs and ankles, skin discolouration, a throbbing or stinging pain, a cold feeling in the feet and toes and muscle cramps. When blood flow is not working properly, you may also find it painful to stand for a long period of time or feel uncomfortable when you are inactive for extended periods. Bad circulation can also delay wound healing, especially if you are diabetic.
Some people with a weakened circulatory system may also feel more tired than normal and experience digestive issues, erectile dysfunction, a lack of appetite and weight loss.
When should I see a doctor?
While not all cases of poor circulation are a cause for concern, it is a good idea to consult your doctor if you notice symptoms to check whether it is related to a more serious health condition. They will be able to identify the source of the problem, assess your overall health and recommend the most suitable treatment. You may be prescribed medication to treat the underlying cause, or your doctor might recommend specific exercise regimes and lifestyle changes to help improve your condition.
What self help treatments are there?
Sometimes, all it takes to improve circulation is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For example, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can all help to reduce pain and swelling and keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight at a healthy level.
Doing regular exercise is also important, as it can keep the blood flowing around your body and increase oxygen levels in your blood. Low impact activities such as walking and swimming are usually considered best for people with poor circulation. Even a small amount of exercise, such as taking the dog for a walk or using the stairs rather than the lift, can make a big difference. Many people also find yoga and stretching exercises to be effective. However, be careful not to attempt excessive levels of physical activity and make sure you consult your doctor before undertaking any new exercise regimes to avoid harming yourself.
You should also try to avoid long periods of sitting or standing to prevent blood from pooling in your legs. If you work in a job that requires you to sit down for a large chunk of the day, regularly move your position and take breaks to stretch your legs every half hour or so. When you do rest, elevating your legs can help to increase blood flow.
It is also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and avoid restrictive, tight-fitting clothes that could cut off your circulation. In addition, you can buy compression socks or support tights from a pharmacy to help stimulate blood flow.
If the problem is serious, your doctor may recommend for you to have surgery. For example, if you have severe varicose veins, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure to have them removed.
How can our products help?
Our riser recliner chairs and adjustable beds can help treat some of the symptoms associated with poor circulation in the lower limbs. These products can be adjusted to allow you to elevate your legs while you are resting, helping to ease swelling and reduce any discomfort. All of our beds and chairs also include our innovative NHC Cyclo-Therapy massage system, which has been clinically proven to improve blood circulation and relieve pain. Using cycloidal therapy, the massage technology employs a three-way pulsating technique which has been shown to increase skin and soft tissue blood flow.
If you are interested in finding out more about how our products and massage system can help with lower limb circulation, browse our website further. Alternatively, why not get in touch today and speak to one our friendly team members? Our experts are on hand to answer your queries and will be happy to provide you with more details and talk you through your options. You can reach us by phone or online form.