The symptoms of poor circulation in the legs can be alarming, but they are among the many ways that the human body signals a problem. Poor circulation is usually caused by peripheral artery disease. Among the symptoms are numbness or limpness in the legs, extreme coldness around the toes, aching knees, extremely tired legs and muscle cramps or spasms in the legs.
Peripheral artery disease narrows the walls of the artery, restricting the flow of oxygenated blood cells to body extremities. A sedentary lifestyle, excessive smoking and diabetes can facilitate the onslaught of peripheral artery disease. Getting familiar with symptoms of poor leg circulation allows for early detection and treatment.
Numbness and limpness are common signs of poor circulation in the legs. The feeling of numbness tends to be more intense when standing for extended periods of time or when going from a sitting to a standing position. Severe numbness might also make the limb feel desensitized all over.
Acute coldness in parts of the leg is often associated with poor circulation. A feeling of coldness is usually localized around the toes. The acute coldness is caused by the blood having a hard time thoroughly circulating through the toes. Sometimes the person suffering from poor circulation will not notice the extreme cold of the toes. A medical professional or a trusted friend might be more likely to feel the coldness of the toes when touching them.
A feeling of extreme fatigue, coupled with achy joints, is usually associated with poor circulation in the legs. The narrowed walls of the arteries will struggle to keep muscles oxygenated, which can result in an intense feeling of fatigue, even after walking a short distance. Sometimes the feeling of fatigue can come about spontaneously.
Poor circulation can also cause cramps and muscle spasms. These cramps tend to be localized in the calf, hip or thigh area but can occur in any part of the leg. Cramps tend to occur randomly. The poorly oxygenated muscles contained in the legs can cause painful muscle spasms. The skin around the legs will also tend to have a blue tinge to it because of the restrictive and poor blood circulation.
Another hallmark of poor circulation in the legs is the occurrence of unusually long healing times. Proper blood flow facilitates proper healing of cuts, bruises and skin abrasions. A leg that is suffering poor circulation will have a hard time delivering cells that can help repair damaged skin. Random bruises also might occur. Poor circulation makes the skin susceptible to damage from even the slightest bump.