Characteristics of bad circulation in the feet

What is poor circulation in the feet?

After walking or standing for a long time it is advisable to sit down to promote circulation in the feet

Poor circulation in the feet is a circulatory problem due to lack of blood flow in the feet. Blood does not reach properly or is retained in the feet causing pain, heaviness itching or other more serious circulatory problems

Symptoms of poor circulation in the feet

by bicycle

Physical exercise benefits blood circulation in the feet and in the body in general

Among the main symptoms of lack of circulation in the feet we can mention the following:

  • Less severe symptoms that may indicate poor circulation in the feet: Heaviness in feet, pain, swelling, cold feet, tingling, cramping in toes, nails in poor condition, wounds that do not heal , etc.
  • More serious symptoms such as the appearance of ulcers or sores on the feet, soreness, difficulty in movement, very painful cramps.
  • Very serious symptoms: purple feet, phlebitis, intermittent claudication (This disease consists of a narrowing of the arteries of the legs that makes the blood circulation poor, that arrives little oxygen to the muscles and, therefore, that the legs or the feet ache a lot after an exercise or walk of little effort.
  • In worse cases, infections in the bone or gangrene in the foot.

Causes of poor circulation in the feet

The main problem that leads to poor circulation in the feet is the tightening and obstruction of blood vessels by the accumulation of plaques of fats and minerals. It is what is known as atherosclerosis, which is responsible not only for poor circulation in the feet but also for poor circulation in general.

Factors that worsen blood circulation in feet

strong cold weather

Cold makes the circulation in the feet difficult, so, we must be careful of the type of footwear and clothing to keep our feet warm

There are a number of factors that can aid in the formation or worsening of poor circulation in the feet such as:

  • Diseases: obesity, diabetes, cholesterol
  • Sedentarism: Lack of exercise, in addition to contributing to the development of previous diseases, weakens the muscles of blood vessels and makes poor circulation in the feet. Being seated for many hours in front of the computer or television causes a stagnation of the blood in the feet that can favor the appearance of poor circulation in the feet.

    The tingling we feel in our feet when we “fall asleep” is a clear example of poor circulation.

  • Standing for many hours: When a person for work reasons must stand for many hours, the blood does not circulate well and his/her feet feel sore and tired.
  • Diet: An inadequate diet, with a lot of saturated fat, and lack of natural plant foods causes the obstruction of the blood vessels and leads to the development of many diseases that smoking a pipe

    Smoking narrows blood vessels and hinders circulation

  • Smoking and caffeine: Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor ie it decreases the thickness of arteries and coronary vessels, increases heart rate and increases blood pressure. Caffeine, although vasodilator, favors hypertension and arrhythmias.
  • Certain medicines that tighten blood vessels and make circulation difficult.
  • Cold weather: Cold constricts the blood vessels.
  • Stress: Stress keeps the blood vessels constricted for too long so it can impair circulation. It has been proven that, as stress decreases, circulation improves.

Diagnosis and treatment of poor circulation in the feet.

To avoid poor circulation in the feet we should consider a number of tips:


After walking or standing for a long time it is advisable to sit down to promote circulation in the feet

  • Perform regular exercise: practicing some sport in general and, mainly, walking, running, climbing stairs, or cycling helps keep the circulation in the feet in good condition.
  • Alternate periods of work on foot with those of sitting and those of sitting with those on foot: This way it is possible to avoid that the blood is stagnated at the inferior members . People who work long hours sitting in front of a computer, a cash register or a work table should take a break from time to time, get up and walk a little. Unlike them, people who are many hours on their feet, should take a break from time to time.

For poor circulation in the feet it is appropriate to sit or lie with your feet taller than your head for a while. This facilitates the return of blood and improves circulation

  • Wear suitable clothing and footwear: Be careful that the rubber of the socks do not press too much and choke the blood. The shoes should be comfortable to allow a good blood flow to the feet. Compressive socks can help improve circulation of the legs or feet in people who are standing for many hours.

More information on circulatory diseases.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.