Foot problems due to poor blood circulation can be a serious problem. Lifestyle choices can lead to blockages in the arteries preventing blood flow into the feet. Areas of skin breakdown may not heal or the healing time will increase significantly if blood flow is diminished to the area.
Poor fitting footwear can press on the skin preventing blood flow in to the area. This becomes problematic if the blood supply into the area is already diminished due to peripheral vascular disease. This can lead to localized areas of skin breakdown possibly leading to skin death or necrosis. The can progress to dry gangrene.
Some people will experience a condition called intermittent claudication. People will complain of pain after walking a short distance. They will have to stop and rest before continuing. This is a reproducible symptom. Some people will will complain of pain in their leg muscles that wake them up at night. Standing up or letting the foot hang over the bed will increase blood flow and decrease the pain. A doppler ultrasound can be performed to evaluate blood flow into the the extremities. Medical and surgical intervention can help to restore blood flow. Chiropodists/podiatrists can provide skilled foot care to patients with peripheral vascular disease to help to minimize any pressure applied to the foot.
Podiatric treatment for PVD
- Proper fitting footwear
- Soft flexible orthoses to address any abnormal foot alignment that might cause increased pressures on the skin of the bottom of the feet and toes