Blood flow connects every nook and cranny in your body. Blood goes everywhere, constantly—and since it carries the nutrients and oxygen your tissues need to function and survive, it can have a dramatic effect on your whole body, including your lower limbs. This is why conditions like peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which restricts blood flow, can have such a big impact on your feet. Knowing the connections between PAD and feet can help you get the care you need when problems arise.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) involves the stiffening and narrowing of arteries in your limbs. Plaque builds up on the inside of your arteries, clogging them and making it harder for blood to flow through. Your limbs, particularly your feet, then have trouble getting enough blood—which means they aren’t getting enough oxygen or nutrients that they need, either. This leads to a variety of problems for your feet:
- Cramping during activities – When your muscles don’t get enough blood flow when you’re active, they start to cramp. This can make walking or participating in sports or other hobbies very painful.
- Cold feet – Poor circulation can leave your lower limbs feeling cold and uncomfortable.
- Hair loss on your legs – Without proper blood flow, hair on your feet and legs can thin, fall out, and not grow back.
- Muscle weakness – Without enough oxygen and nutrients from strong circulation, your muscles can weaken.
- A higher risk for slow-healing sores – Poor circulation means a weaker immune system, which isn’t able to repair small injuries effectively. Little sores can then deteriorate and not heal, increasing your risk for infections.
PAD is a serious problem for your whole body, and your feet are no exception. The effects of restricted blood flow to your lower limbs can be uncomfortable and have long-term consequences. If you think you might have PAD, don’t wait for the effects and symptoms to get worse to be tested and treated. Contact our experts with Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. for more information or a consultation today. Just call (908) 222-8980 or using our web forms to reach our South Plainfield office.