The Importance of Good Circulation

Valentine’s Day was last week, and we at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston hope that you were able to spend some quality time around people you love. The heart is the classic symbol associated with this holiday, so we thought it would be appropriate to discuss the important role your heart plays in your foot and ankle health.

The heart is the muscular pump that pushes blood throughout the body. Red blood cells loaded with oxygen and nutrients travel to tissues via arteries, where they exchange those out for carbon dioxide and other waste products and return them to the heart via veins. Peripheral vascular disease occurs when there is insufficient blood flow in the arteries or veins.

Arteries

·Ischemic foot is a severe lack of blood flow to the feet, usually resulting from cholesterol blockage in a large artery (atherosclerosis) or a small artery (arteriosclerosis).

·Ulcers occur when blood flow to the skin is limited, leading to wounds that are not able to properly heal.

·Raynaud’s Syndrome involves muscle spasms in the arteries, blocking blood from circulating in the extremities.

Veins

·Varicose veins refer to veins that are swollen due to their inability to return blood to the heart. If they are near the surface, they may be seen through the skin.

·Edema, also known as swelling, occurs when fluid collects in the feet and ankles due to gravity and poor circulation.

·Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition in which a blood clot forms in the vein. If it breaks free, it may travel to the heart and become lodged in the lungs.

Maintaining adequate circulation is vital to the long-term health of the tissues in our feet and ankles. Individuals who smoke or have diabetes are more prone to circulation issues, as well as those who are older and have poor diets. The doctors at the Foot and Ankle Clinics of North Houston are some of the best in Texas at treating both the symptoms and underlying causes of peripheral vascular disease. No matter the ailment, contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114 to schedule an appointment at the office that is most convenient to you.