Understanding the Importance of Circulation for Foot Health

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Circulation, a key component of our well-being, is essential for keeping our feet healthy. Our circulatory system is a complex network of blood vessels that ensures the smooth flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The feet are not just passive parts of this complex system; they play an active role. As we walk, the muscles in our feet tighten, which squeezes the veins and helps the blood move back to the heart. As a result, any change to this smooth flow can show up most clearly in our feet, which is often a sign of deeper circulatory problems.

Circulatory Problems That Affect Foot Health

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

  • PAD happens when plaque builds up in the arteries in the legs, causing them to narrow.
  • Symptoms: Cold feet, pain, cramps, stiffness, and, in the worst cases, tissue death.


  • High blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow, especially to our feet.
  • Symptoms: You may exhibit symptoms such as delayed wound healing, increased risk of infection, and even loss of sensation in your feet due to nerve damage.

Varicose Veins

  • Varicose veins are swollen and twisted due to valves not working well, causing blood to pool and run backward.
  • Symptoms: Pain, swelling, and discolored skin, which can affect circulation in general.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

  • Blood clots form in deep veins, making it hard for blood to move normally.
  • Symptoms: Swelling, pain, and possible problems if the clot moves to the lungs.

How to Improve Blood Flow for Healthy Feet

The good news is that you can take an active role in supporting your circulatory health. Here are some useful strategies:

Maintain a regular workout routine

  • Benefits: It can enhance blood flow and strengthen the heart and leg muscles.
  • Examples: Walking, running, swimming, and cycling.

Stay at a healthy weight

  • Benefits: It makes the cardiovascular system work better.
  • Examples: Eating a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in daily physical activity.

Wear Proper Footwear

  • Benefits: It can boost blood flow by providing adequate arch support.
  • Examples: Choose shoes that fit well; avoid shoes that are too tight and restrict circulation.

At the New Jersey Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons Group, there are almost 30 foot and ankle surgeons, podiatrists, and doctors. With more than 30 locations, from Newark, NJ, to Cape May, NJ, we value convenience and excellent service for our patients. We offer compassionate, cutting-edge care across our network, and we specialize in treating the following conditions: Ankle and sports injuries, heel pain and plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, corns and calluses, ingrown toenails, diabetic foot care complications, children’s foot problems, skin conditions of the feet, and fungal nails. Our group is among the best foot and ankle providers in the country. To schedule an appointment, first find a podiatrist in your area.