Foot care is extremely important when you are a diabetic. Nerves can be damaged in the feet so you may not realize when you have a wound. Your blood supply is also affected due to slower circulation. When poor foot circulation occurs, wounds are slower to heal and swelling, numbness and cold feet can occur. Amputation may be necessary if you do not take adequate care of your feet. If you know how to increase blood circulation to the feet, you are less likely to experience complications.
Things You'll Need
- Cushioned footstool
- Contoured leg cushion
- Shoes with extra cushioning
- Foot bath
- Epsom salts
- Nicotine patch or gum
- Diabetic therapy socks
Elevate your feet when you plan to sit for long stretches of time by using a cushioned footstool. When lying in bed, use a contoured leg cushion to raise your feet.
Take a break from sitting by rotating your ankles and wiggling your toes for five minute sessions at least three times a day to increase blood flow.
Exercise to promote increased blood flow throughout the body, especially the feet, with low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, dancing and cycling.
Choose soft surfaces to walk on such as sand, dirt or grass, and wear cushioned soles in your shoes to absorb impact of the feet.
Soak your feet using warm water and Epsom salts in a foot bath, according to manufacturer's instructions. The warm water promotes circulation by dilating the blood vessels in the feet.
Quit smoking, if you smoke any type of tobacco product. Consider nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum or a patch, to help you quit. Smoking can narrow and harden the arteries, thereby restricting blood flow to the feet and other body areas.
Wear socks, such as diabetic therapy socks, that will not restrict circulation to the feet.
Follow a well-balanced diet as prescribed by your doctor to control cholesterol and blood pressure. High blood sugar, fat and cholesterol all contribute to the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which can restrict blood flow in the feet.
Massage your feet briskly using your hands or have a partner do it for you. Massaging stimulates your blood vessels allowing better blood circulation.