Poor Circulation? Top Causes and Best Treatment to Overcome Poor Circulation
What Is Poor Circulation?
Our circulatory system is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients and blood around the body. Poor circulation refers to when this process doesn’t operate at a sufficient level. There are several conditions and factors that can lead to poor circulation.
The most common effects of poor circulation occur in the hands, legs and feet. These extremities end up not getting a sufficient flow of blood, which can have a range of implications.
Poor circulation is something that should be effectively managed and treated to avoid discomfort and long-term health complications. Before trying to self-diagnose, we recommend consulting with a doctor and getting expert advice on the potential causes of your poor circulation. Depending on the cause, the recommended treatment may vary.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation
The extremities, such as hands and feet, often carry the most noticeable symptoms. These include; numbness, muscle discomfort or cramps, throbbing pains and tingling sensations. Nerve damage and associated health problems are often a result of poor circulation.
Poor circulation can often lead to a loss of feeling in the extremities, which in itself, can lead to further health issues.
What Causes Poor Circulation
Poor circulation is a result of a variety of conditions and factors.
Health and Illness – There are a number of illnesses that result in poor circulation. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is an illness that affects the blood vessels and causes a narrowing of these channels so less blood can flow. Atherosclerosis similarly reduces blood flow as a result of blood vessels hardening due to plaque build-up. Blood clots, varicose veins, diabetes, obesity and other cardio-vascular diseases can also impact circulation. Genetics, lifestyle and diet can have a big impact on whether you are susceptible to such health conditions.
Immobility/Lifestyle – If the body remains in the same position for long periods of time, it can have a negative impact on circulation. As we move, the muscles in our extremities push blood back around the body. When we stay sat down for long periods, this is limited and can reduce blood flow away from these extremities which can cause swelling and discomfort. This can happen on a temporary basis such as long-haul flights, or on a more permanent basis, such as when people get older and less mobile.
Age and poor circulation – As we get older, we are lightly to become less active and mobile. We are also likely to pick up other health issues which can have an impact on circulation and movement. Our circulatory system can also be impacted by general ageing.
How to Improve Poor Circulation
Treatment and recommendations for poor circulation will be impacted by the cause – for example, in some instances, it is necessary to address the chronic illness as a priority which may also be impacting circulation.
As a general guidance, the ideas below are recommended to help improve poor circulation.
- Diet – There are a variety of foods that are associated with health benefits for circulation. Teas are rich in antioxidants have been linked to improved arterial health. Foods rich in iron are also likely to help as this is a vital component of haemoglobin. Foods that can help reduce cholesterol are also recommended. Generally eating healthy and avoiding high levels of fatty foods, saturated fats and sugars will help prevent associated health issues.
- Increase Mobility – Being active and mobile will help prevent swelling and blood pooling. For younger people, this simply means changing your lifestyle to accommodate more movement and activities. For elderly people, utilising mobility furniture, such as those that help you get out of a chair, can be hugely valued. From chairs to beds, mobility furniture is a practical way to help elderly people move easier. This furniture can also make it more comfortable for those already with poor circulation when getting in and out of chairs/bed.
- Management – Blood sugar, trace minerals and blood pressure are useful metrics for anyone suffering discomfort from poor circulation to measure and track. Understanding how these change, may help you manage your circulation much better. A health professional can recommend how to get started with this sort of management. Your GP can help you get started and even recommend home management solutions so you can keep on top of it all the time.
- Elevate Feet – This helps make it easier for your body to pump the blood away from your feet and back up to the heart. Mobility furniture is often the perfect solution for this, and recliner chairs can provide a simple and effective way to combat swelling in the feet and lower leg.
- Massage – As well as making you feel relaxed, massage can work wonders for your circulation. By applying pressure to congested areas, your massage therapist will help shift the blood, then new blood will flow into this area improving your circulation. Massaging muscles releases lactic acid, which in turn enhances circulation of the lymph fluid and lowers your blood pressure.
- Fluid intake – Did you know that keeping hydrated can help improve the circulation? Our blood plasma is 90% water, so it makes sense that staying hydrated ensures that the circulatory system works well. You can keep a bottle of water close at hand and have regular sips, or flavour it with lemon or other fruit to make it more palatable.
- Stopping smoking – If you’re a smoker, quitting is an essential step to improving your circulation. Smoking hinders your blood from circulating as it should, narrowing your arteries and causing damage to the heart and blood vessels. Even after one hour of being cigarette-free your blood pressure will drop and your circulation will improve.
- Use compression garments – These garments, such as stockings, will compress your tissue and help increase the blood flow through your body while reducing swelling. It’s usually recommended that you wear them during the day and take them off at night. You will also need to be monitored by a healthcare professional while wearing them.
- Warm baths – Soaking in a warm bath will make your arteries and veins expand, allowing more space for blood to flow freely. While it’s a temporary effect, it’s also a pleasurable one and will help you feel relaxed and less stressed.
- Dry brushing – Dry brushing is exactly what it says – using a dry brush in long strokes towards the heart. This promotes blood circulation and lymph flow, as well as exfoliating your skin and giving you a sense of wellbeing.
Overcoming Poor Circulation with Mobility Furniture UK
What changes can I make around the home to help improve my circulation?
There are lots of simple changes you can make around your home that will help you improve your circulation.
The key is to make it easier for you to move around and stand instead of sitting. The first thing you can do is have a good declutter of your home so that you have the space to get up and walk round easily.
Enlist the help of a friend or relative if the task seems daunting. As your home becomes clearer and more pleasant to spend time in, you will become more and more motivated to continue.
At the same time you can reconfigure your furniture so that you have clear passages from room to room, and you don’t have to worry about obstacles in the way.
There are lots of simple exercises you can do at home that will help improve your circulation, even from the comfort of your chair. For the “seated march”, lift one leg with the knee bent as far as you can. Then place your foot down. Repeat with the opposite leg. Try doing this for a few minutes at a time, and you will soon find that you are building up strength.
You can also try toe lifts by simply lifting your toes up off the floor while keep your heels firmly down. As you put your toes back down, lift your heels and squeeze your calf muscles. Then repeat with legs directly in front of you.
If you sit for long periods at a time, set a timer to remind you to get up out of your chair or sitting position every half an hour, for example.
If you have difficulty in getting up out of your chair, help is at hand. In the next section we will take a look at how mobility furniture can make it so much easier for you to get up and down hassle-free.
As well as improving your diet, lifestyle and management, mobility furniture is a great option to help support you to better circulation and blood flow. We are passionate about delivering products and services that make a difference and that’s why we’ve worked tirelessly to develop mobility furniture that solves real challenges.
The pain of trying to get into a normal chair or bed can be reduced instantly with the assistance of a mobility chair or adjustable bed. Similarly, the cause of further complications due to a lack of mobility and blood pooling, can be reduced through elevating the legs through recliner chairs that also make it easier to move and remain active.
All our chairs and beds are designed to fully support the whole body and help reduce pain, increase comfort and ensure you find daily activities easier.
Poor circulation can be improved and we’d love to help demonstrate to you how our range of mobility furniture has impacted people who suffer from poor circulation. To get started, simply get in touch with our friendly team today. We offer a personal service that is focused on understanding your needs and delivering recommendations, products and a service that helps improve daily life for you or your loved ones.