What should I do if I suspect I have poor circulation?
When patients are experiencing symptoms like cold feet, cramping, or pain and weakness while walking for a certain amount of distance and must stop to rest.
First, it is important to be seen by your podiatrist to evaluate you for poor circulation. While sitting in our podiatric chair, we assess for pedal pulses. This is evaluating the dorsalis pedis pulse and posterior tibial pulse. Those pulses should be palpable (where you can feel them) if they are healthy.
Second, we evaluate if there is hair on the digits (toes) or the foot. Then by pushing on the tip of the toe if we see a white blanching effect and then returns to the normal pink color quickly shows a good sign.
If your evaluation is questionable by some of the basic non-invasive evaluations of your feet, we perform a simple non-invasive vascular test called a PADNet Test. This involves putting blood pressure cuffs up and down your legs. This evaluates and compares blood pressure ratios of the circulation from your thigh, calf, ankle, foot and toes to the blood pressure in your arm. If the ratios are doing well this would indicate good blood flow and we then would recommend an exercise regimen to maintain good circulation.
If the test comes back that is positive for diminished ratios we then refer you to a vascular surgeon and they can do more involved testing as well as procedures to improve or restore your circulation.
Megan Rhule PMAC