Have you noticed a constant ache or pain in your feet or legs? Do you feel cramping that may initiate during physical activity and fade as you rest? Foot pain can occur for a number of reasons, but chronic discomfort might point to vascular disease, a circulation condition.
This disease could lead to further medical complications if you do not receive prompt treatment from a vascular expert. Do not ignore your symptoms. Read on to learn more about vascular disease in the feet and how you can manage this cardiovascular concern.
What Is Vascular Disease of the Feet?
Vascular disease refers to a condition in which the arteries, veins, or blood vessels suffer an abnormality. This could mean inflammation or narrowing of the vessels, which will negatively impact your circulation. If blood cannot flow where needed, you might be at risk of a stroke or other emergency.
When vascular disease affects the feet, you might feel chronic pain or see swelling, numbness, coldness, or discoloration in the lower extremities. This may point to peripheral artery disease (PAD), which happens when arteries become narrow, restricting blood flow in the feet. Narrow blood vessels may occur for a number of reasons, which your doctor can learn more about when you schedule a consultation.
When Should I Tell My Doctor About This Symptom?
Even mild levels of chronic pain in the feet may mean that you have PAD or another vascular concern. If you do feel this symptom, you should let your doctor know as soon as you can. It is better to receive a check-up just in case than to think you can live with minor discomfort.
Circulation problems with your feet can lead to nerve and tissue damage over time. This can leave you with lasting complications. And blocked vessels due to build-up might harden, a condition called atherosclerosis. So seek an evaluation from your doctor about this issue. The doctor can diagnose vascular disease in the feet with a venous ultrasound or other imaging technology.
How Can My Doctor Fix Circulation Issues in the Feet?
Vascular disease cannot be completely cured, but your doctor can help you to manage your symptoms and avoid severe medical complications. They will likely start with recommendations to change your lifestyle to improve circulation. This will include cutting out bad habits like smoking as well as encouraging exercise and a healthy diet.
Your doctor might also suggest medications and therapies to improve your blood flow. But more severe cases might need a stent or angioplasty procedure to address the narrow or damaged blood vessel. You might even need a surgical bypass.
A vascular doctor will analyze your unique scenario and offer treatment according to your specific needs. Attend follow-up visits with your doctor to ensure your treatment plan successfully manages your condition. If you continue to feel foot pain or other symptoms, tell your doctor right away.