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Maintaining Healthy Blood Flow to Your Feet

People with circulatory problems such as Peripheral Vascular Disease frequently experience difficulty maintaining blood flow to their feet. Reasons for suffering PVD include atherosclerosis, diabetics, smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. When your feet do not receive enough oxygen as a result of blocked blood flow, they cannot fight infections produced by open sores and small, dry skin cuts. In addition, untreated neuropathy (nerve damage) may lead to numbness and tingling or even gangrenous infection requiring amputation of necrotic foot parts.

Symptoms of Insufficient Blood Flow to the Feet

If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be having problems with blood flow to the feet and greatly benefit from receiving physical therapy in Gainesville VA:

  • Feet that always feel cold, regardless of the temperature
  • Skin that appears pale and shiny over the tops of the feet
  • Skin that is bluish around the toe area
  • Skin ulcers or other infections that do not heal
  • Inability to find a pulse in the foot (pulse can be found around the bone on the inside of the ankle)
  • Painful feet, even when resting

How You Can Help Promote Blood Flow to Your Feet

To help maintain normal flow of blood to your feet, remember to leave your legs uncrossed if you plan to sit for more than 15 minutes. You can stretch your legs out in front of you and cross them at the ankles but avoid laying one thigh over the other thigh. Placing pressure on your leg's blood vessels for extended periods restricts circulation and prevents adequate amounts of blood from reaching the feet. Although standing up or uncrossing your legs will allow blood to flow again, it is still not a good idea for diabetics to inhibit blood flow for any length of time to any part of the body.

Circulatory System Exercises

Engaging in regular exercise is probably the best method for diabetics to consistently stimulate blood flow to the feet. Walking, jogging, bicycling and any other weight-bearing activity encourages blood flow throughout the body. Even if you cannot perform this type of vigorous activity, stretching your legs out in front of you, wiggling your toes and rotating your ankles for five minutes every hour can help provide your feet with enough blood necessary to reduce the risk of suffering serious neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease.

Physical Therapy in Gainesville VA

Receiving regular physical therapy is one of the best ways to keep your feet and lower limbs healthy and reduce symptoms of peripheral vascular disease. Physical therapy also maintains muscle health, decreases inflammation and minimizes the discomfort of PVD.