Poor circulation complicates a lot of problems of the foot and lower limb and can cause its own symptoms. The main cause of poor circulation is atherosclerosis, which is generally underpinned by lifestyle and sedentary activity. As a result fatty acids build up in the arteries restricting the circulation. Initially in the foot, there may be a reduction in the intensity of the pulse; hairs and nail growth may slow and there might be a delay in the healing of any wounds. Later as the circulation decreases, less oxygen gets through to the muscles and a symptom known as intermittent claudication. This usually occurs in the calf muscles and restricts walking to shorter distances. After resting a further similar distance can be walked.
The reason that this is so important to the foot is that those with poor circulation need to take special care not to get any cuts or wounds on the foot as they will be slow healing or even not heal at all. Any rubbing from shoes can be important.
Those with poor circulation do need to discuss with their doctor about a supervised exercise program to help improve the circulation. Often the advice of a vascular surgeon should be sought.