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The venous system in the body is responsible for the circulation of blood. The veins have valves that keep blood from flowing backwards. In case of vein disease, this function is impaired, causing blood to collect or pool up in the thin blood vessels.

Pressure or stress on the veins can cause them to swell, enlarge or become clogged up. Blood clots formed inside the veins slow down the blood flow. This can cause a variety of problems such as sores, weakness, swelling, discoloration and even ulcers.

Although the veins in a person’s arms or chest are subject to problems as well, the most commonly affected veins are the ones that are found in the legs. This is because the veins in our legs are put under the most pressure and stress compares to anywhere else in the body.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

Varicose veins are one of the major symptoms of poor blood circulation. These are the bulging, twisted veins that appear on the thighs and arms and look like wires under the skin. The veins can also appear as dark purplish or blue lines under the skin..

In many cases, the appearance of varicose veins does not cause any pain for the patient. In cases where they do cause pain, the symptoms include the following.

•  A feeling of burning, throbbing and swelling or muscle cramping in the legs
•  Legs start aching or start to feel heavy for no particular reason
•  Sudden loss of feeling in legs
•  Short periods of weakness
•  Unexplained itching sensation around one or more of the veins
•  Slight pain in the legs which becomes worse after sitting for a while
•  Color changes of the skin or changes in skin thickness
•  Bleeding from varicose veins, internally or externally

Causes of Poor Circulation in Legs

Poor circulation in legs can be caused by a variety of reasons including the following

•  Peripheral Artery Disease: This disease causes the veins to become narrow causing circulatory issues
•  Diabetes: Diabetes is another common cause of irregular blood circulation as the person goes through uneven blood sugar levels.
•  Varicose Veins: Blood vessels that are continuously put under pressure develop clots and become varicose

Varicose veins are often caused due to blood clotting in a deep vein inside your legs. This usually blocks the valve which ends up swelling the vein or causing it to form a discoloration.

Blood clots can form due to a variety of reasons that include.

•  Obesity
•  Old age
•  Lack of exercise
•  Pregnancy and child birth
•  Accidental cuts or pressure on the veins due to heavy lifting
•  Smoking
•  Hereditary and genetic disorders
•  Standing or sitting in the same position for an extended period of time


Untreated varicose veins can develop further complications for the patient. Some of these complications include.


Blood clots and veins can develop painful ulcers on the skin. These are caused by long-term fluid buildup in the tissues caused by increased blood pressure. Ulcers generally form near the varicose veins and they are common near the joints of ankles or knees.


In some cases, veins that are very close to the skin may burst open, causing bleeding. The bleeding is usually limited but it does require medical attention. Veins that have burst open once can also open up again in the future.

Poor Circulation Diagnosis

Patients suffering from one of the symptoms will be assessed for whether they are affected by any other related disease. The doctor will consider the risk factors and any visible signs to understand the cause of poor blood circulation.

After a physical examination, the doctor may also ask the patient to undergo certain tests. These include bloods tests, antibodies tests, CT scans, ultrasounds or blood pressure tests.

Improving Circulation in Legs

Blood circulation problems in your legs can be problematic but they are not the end of the world. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment options and medication that will help improve the flow in your legs.

If the blockages in blood circulation are caused due to varicose veins, the doctor may also recommend vein therapy treatments or surgery.

Some common methods that have resulted in improvement in blood circulation include the following.

•  Regular exercise programs
•  Weight reduction and following a more balanced diet
•  Some patients are recommended to wear pressure stockings that help improve blood flow in their legs
•  Keeping cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels
•  Elevating legs with lifts when in a resting position.
•  Quitting smoking
•  Moderation in caffeine and alcohol intake
•  Avoiding sitting or lying down in the same position for extended periods of time

Depending on the cause of problems in blood circulation, the patient may also need to take one or more of the following remedies.

•  Start taking insulin (for diabetic patients)
•  Take medication that dissolves blood clots
•  Take blood thinners
•  Laser surgery for varicose veins
•  Take calcium channel blockers and Raynaud’s disease medication

Vein Clinic in New York City provides excellent treatment options for improvement of blood circulation in legs. Please get in touch with our doctors to find out how we can help.