What is Vascular Foot Pain?

Vascular Foot Pain

Foot pain can have a huge effect on your day-to-day life. Not only can foot pain be a nuisance, but it can sometimes indicate more serious health conditions as well. This is why you mustn’t ignore foot or leg pain that you might be experiencing.

Vascular foot pain is one type of foot discomfort that is indicative of more serious issues. Vascular foot pain results from conditions that affect the blood flow in your legs and feet. In this quick guide, we will share more information on this condition so that you can better understand how to deal with vascular foot pain and improve your overall quality of life.


Understanding Vascular Foot Pain

Simply put, vascular foot pain is a result of poor circulation. Specifically, it is a condition caused by poor leg and foot circulation. This condition is often associated with unexplained leg pain. You might also feel heaviness in your legs and not quite know why. In some cases, this condition can also affect the arms or hands. It is less common in this part of the body, though.

Vascular foot pain is also sometimes referred to as vascular claudication.


What It Feels Like

Patients often describe this condition as a feeling of heaviness or a throbbing sensation in their feet or legs. Walking often makes this condition feel worse. Any type of physical exertion will make the discomfort more intense.


Who Is At Risk?

This condition often affects people who are already dealing with vascular disease. These types of conditions are often seen in people over 50. This condition is also seen in people with the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Family history of vascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Sedentary lifestyles
  • Smokers

Causes of Vascular Foot Pain

Vascular pain is often caused by vascular disease. This disease is a condition that compresses or inflames blood vessels. It can also be caused by a narrowed or blocked blood vessel. These conditions will reduce the blood flow moving through your feet and legs. Other causes can include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Diabetes
  • DVT
  • PAD
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Varicose veins

Symptoms of Vascular Foot Pain

Those suffering from vascular disease may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Cold extremities
  • Color changes in extremities
  • Numbness
  • Edema
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Wounds or sores that do not heal properly


How Is It Diagnosed?

When you visit your doctor, you will be evaluated, and your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will perform a physical exam as well. They will look for discoloration, weeping sores, ulcers, a weak pulse in your extremities, and other symptoms.

Tests that may be conducted can include:

  • Arteriogram
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance angiogram

These types of tests allow the doctor to see deeply into your veins and arteries to better understand how the blood flows throughout your feet and legs.


If you are diagnosed with vascular foot pain, your condition can be treated in several different ways.

Medication is usually the first line of defense for this particular condition. Medications that thin your blood can help to prevent poor circulation and blood clots.

Some procedures can be used to help treat this condition. Angioplasty is often an option that is considered. A small balloon is inserted into the artery or vein during this treatment. It is inflated so that the area can be opened up to allow blood to flow better. Stents are also sometimes used to keep the vessel opened properly.

For severe cases, bypass surgery may be needed. During bypass surgery, your doctor will go in and actually remove the blockage that is causing the issues. This is usually reserved for severe cases, and there is a recovery time for this procedure.


How To Manage Vascular Pain

If your doctor has not yet recommended procedures for your vascular pain, you will want to try to manage your pain at home naturally.

You can do this by exercising regularly. The movement will keep blood flowing better through your extremities.

If you are a smoker, you will need to quit smoking immediately. Smoking closes arteries and veins and reduces blood flow.

Compression stockings are also very helpful for many people with poor circulation or vascular pain.



If you do not currently have vascular disease or pain but want to prevent it, keep reading.
You can prevent this type of condition with the following healthy habits.

Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. High amounts of cholesterol often cause blockages in veins and arteries in the body.

You should also exercise regularly. The more you move, the more your blood moves too. Exercise will help all aspects of your life to improve, including vascular pain.


When To Visit Your Doctor

If you suspect you have vascular disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.

There are some symptoms, however, that are serious concerns. You should seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms.

If you are unable to walk suddenly, this could be a sign that you have a serious blockage. Blockages can break up and move to other parts of the body, including the heart and brain. You cannot ignore this symptom.

You should seek medical attention if you experience sudden and severe color changes in your extremities. This can also be a sign of a serious blockage.

If your extremities are suddenly very cold to the touch, numb, or tingling, seek emergency help. Call us!