Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

Causes of Poor Circulation in Lower Limbs

There are many medical conditions that can result in reduced blood flow to the feet and ankles. One common cause is peripheral artery disease (PAD), in which blood flow to the lower limbs is compromised due to plaque buildup in the arteries. The plaque causes the artery walls to narrow and harden, making it difficult for an adequate amount of blood to circulate to the feet and ankles. Varicose veins, in which the leg veins become enlarged, damaged, and unable to move blood efficiently, is also a common condition. Other ailments that can impact circulation include diabetes, obesity, blood clots, and Raynaud's disease. To learn more about how poor circulation can affect the feet and ankles, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.


Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chelmsford and Newburyport, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet

Connect With Us