Are your feet cold too?
Do you find yourself puzzled by the persistent chill in your legs from the knee down? While it’s common for your extremities to feel cold occasionally, persistent coldness may warrant attention. CMC Primary Care is helping you explore potential reasons behind this phenomenon and filling you in on the types of doctors you should consider seeing to address a variety of factors that could be causing your shivers.
Poor Circulation & Peripheral Artery Disease
Reduced blood flow to the lower legs can lead to cold sensations. Conditions like peripheral artery disease (PAD) or blood vessel disorders may contribute to chronic coldness, numbness, or tingling in your lower extremities.
PAD is caused by an accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, that restricts blood flow to your lower extremities. As a result, your affected limbs can’t receive enough blood.
Other signs and symptoms of PAD include pain or cramping in the legs while walking (claudication), hair loss on the legs, a faint pulse in your feet, and slow-healing sores or ulcers.
Risk factors for PAD include your family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and aging.
Nerve Issues & Peripheral Neuropathy
Dysfunction in the nerves can also cause cold sensations. Conditions like peripheral neuropathy (PN) can impact nerve function in the legs. The signs of PN can include stabbing, burning, or tingling pain accompanying coldness in the feet.
PN is caused by damage to your peripheral nerves. These nerves send signals from your central nervous system to the rest of your body. PN is often the result of diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), traumatic injury, exposure to toxins, autoimmune diseases, inherited disorders, liver disease, and kidney disease.
Other signs and symptoms of PN include muscle weakness, lack of coordination, increased sensitivity to touch, and the sensation that you’re wearing socks when you’re not.
Other Potential Causes
- Musculoskeletal Factors: Structural issues such as compressed nerves or problems with your joints might contribute to the cold feeling in your legs.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Conditions affecting hormones, like hypothyroidism, can impact blood circulation and cause cold extremities.
Seeking the Right Doctor
- Primary Care Physician (PCP) Start by consulting your primary care physician. They can evaluate your symptoms, perform initial tests, and guide you toward a specialist if needed.
- Vascular Specialist: If poor circulation is suspected, a vascular specialist (vascular surgeon or cardiologist) can conduct tests like ankle-brachial index (ABI) to assess blood flow and recommend appropriate treatment.
- Neurologist: For nerve-related issues, a neurologist can perform nerve conduction studies and other tests to identify and manage potential problems.
- Orthopedic Specialist: If musculoskeletal issues are suspected, an orthopedic doctor can assess joint and structural problems in your legs.
- Endocrinologist: If hormonal imbalances are a concern, an endocrinologist can assess and manage conditions like thyroid disorders.
Remember, early detection and consultation with the right healthcare professional can pave the way for effective treatment. Don’t hesitate to discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician, who can guide you through the next steps toward resolving the mystery of your cold legs from the knee down.
CMC Primary Care is Here for You
Recognizing changes in your body and seeking care early is a significant step towards better health. Remember, at CMC Primary Care your well-being is our priority, and together, we can ensure that you stay healthy year round. Feel free to call 843-347-8000 and one of our team members can help you set an appointment at a primary care office convenient to you.
Locations Near Me
CMC Primary Care has multiple locations throughout Horry and Georgetown counties to make things a little easier for you. We want your visits to be a little less time-consuming and a lot less stressful. Check out the locations nearest you.
- 11th Avenue – Located off of Hwy 501 and close to Aynor High School
- Elm Street – Conveniently located next to KJ’s Market IGA
- Creel Street – Located off of 9th avenue and close to Whittemore Park Middle School
- Cypress Circle – Located on the campus of Conway Medical Center
- Hwy 90 – Located 2 minutes from International Drive
- Health Plaza Socastee – Located off Hwy 707 close to the Horry County Library in the heart of Socastee
- Market Common – Located on Farrow Parkway
- Postal Way – Located across the street from the U.S. Post Office
- Towne Center – Located next to the intersection of River Oaks Drive and Carolina Forest Boulevard
- Surfside – Located on Business 17 next to Surfside United Methodist Church
- Little River – Located in the River Hills Medical Plaza near River Hills Golf and Country Club