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Published on: Advice

Poor Circulation: Causes, Symptoms, Solutions

Your circulatory system plays a crucial role in your body’s overall function: it is responsible for transferring blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your system. When blood flow is reduced to a certain part of the body, you may experience symptoms related to poor circulation.

Importantly, poor circulation isn’t a condition itself: it is caused by other health issues. Therefore, to treat the symptoms of poor circulation you need to treat the underlying condition leading to it.


There are several conditions that result in poor circulation. The most common include the following:

  • Peripheral Artery Disease

Build up on the walls of blood vessels, causing them to narrow. This is common in people with type 2 diabetes.

  • Blood Clots

A clump of blood that has changed from liquid to a gel-like state, reducing the ability of blood flow.

  • Varicose Veins

Enlarged veins caused by valve failure, most commonly seen on the back of legs.

  • Diabetes

Diabetes can cause blood flow problems as well as impacting your blood sugar levels, and many sufferers experience symptoms associated with this.

  • Obesity

Being overweight puts you at increased risk of circulatory problems.

  • Reynaud’s Disease

A condition causing a narrowing of the arteries in hands and feet, causing coldness, numbness and other symptoms.

  • Smoking

The chemicals in cigarettes damage blood vessels and increase risk of atherosclerosis.

  • High blood pressure

High blood pressure weakens blood vessel walls, making it harder for blood to move through them.


The most common symptoms of poor circulation include:

  • tingling
  • numbness
  • Muscles that hurt or feel weak when you walk
  • “Pins and needles” sensations
  • Pale or blue skin colour
  • Cold fingers or toes
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling
  • Veins that bulge

Symptoms are mostly experienced in the hands, legs, feet, and toes. Stress and cold climates can increase the severity of symptoms you experience.

It is important to remember that symptoms vary between person to person and even flare up to flare up. If you are particularly or painfully affected by any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.


You can take some action yourself to reduce the side effects of circulatory problems. These include:

  • Exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Stress management

Medical solutions might include:

  • compression socks to support swollen or painful legs
  • Specific exercises designed to increase blood circulation
  • Undergoing surgery for varicose veins
  • Taking any necessary medications to treat your underlying condition

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the painful side effects of circulatory problems can be managed and treated in many cases – don’t let this impact your life more than it needs to!

Here at Minster Home Care, we are passionate about supporting the overall health, happiness and wellbeing of our clients- whether that’s through offering practical advice on managing circulation problems or providing personal care, companionship, palliative care, and other bespoke care services.