Circulation Therapy Specialist Q & A

Circulation Therapy Specialist Questions and Answers

If you would like to know more about ECP therapy and how it can help you, call Sterling Heart Care today! We can help you manage your heart health, visit us in Buffalo, NY.

Circulation Therapy Specialist Near Me in Buffalo, NY
Circulation Therapy Specialist Near Me in Buffalo, NY


The human body has around 60,000 miles of blood vessels – arteries, veins, and capillaries – that together with the heart make up the circulatory system. This system of pathways carries blood to every corner of the body but if circulation is poor the blood flow can become restricted meaning that oxygen and nutrients are not delivered to the organs and tissues in the normal way. This can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions if not treated.

What is circulation therapy?

External Counter Pulsation or Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (ECP/EECP) is a therapy used to improve the circulation of blood to the heart muscles and relieve symptoms of chronic angina. It is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that involves the patient lying down on a treatment table and a set of cuffs is wrapped around the calves, thighs, and buttocks. The cuffs attach to air hoses that inflate and deflate them causing a pulsating sensation as the pressure increases and decreases. During the treatment, the blood vessels in the lower limbs are gently but firmly squeezed to increase blood flow to the heart. Three electrodes placed on the chest are connected to an electrocardiograph (ECG) machine which is used to electronically synchronize the pulses so that the increased blood flow is delivered to the heart at the exact moment it relaxes. When the heart pumps again, pressure is instantly released, causing less resistance in the blood vessels in the legs and allowing blood to be pumped more easily from the heart.

What are the signs of poor circulation?

One of the first signs of poor blood circulation is a coldness in the legs and feet, but that is only one sign. If any of the following symptoms are present, it is recommended you seek medical advice to avoid complications from untreated circulatory issues.

  • Varicose veins or “spider” veins
  • Heaviness in legs and feet
  • Skin discoloration
  • Swollen legs and feet
  • Split, weeping skin
  • Ulcers
  • Pelvic pain or discomfort
  • Restless legs and feet
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain or aching in the leg(s)
  • Lack of energy or concentration
  • Cold extremities (hands and feet)
  • Thinning hair or hair loss
  • In men, erectile dysfunction

How do you fix poor circulation?

The first step should be a check-up with a vascular physician who will diagnose, treat, and help you manage your condition. You may need medication, but your doctor will also recommend lifestyle changes such as:

  • Get regular exercise low-impact exercise such as yoga, swimming, walking, and stationary bicycling can reduce the discomfort caused by poor circulation as well as being important for overall heart and circulatory health.
  • Put your feet up – this helps with any swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs caused by a build-up of excess fluid.
  • Wear compression garments – if approved by your doctor; compression garments increase blood flow helping to counteract poor circulation in the legs and feet.
  • Quitting smoking – lowers the risk of cancer, as well as improving blood circulation, and lowering the chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – to reduce the risk of poor blood circulation, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis as well as avoid the strain on the heart, joints, and vascular system caused by excess weight.

What are 3 ways to improve circulation?

There are several steps you can take to improve circulation, but three of the more important ones are:

  • Get more cardiovascular exercise. Jogging, walking or cycling can help boost circulation.  Stretching before and after also has the same effect.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking inhibits blood flow, destroys blood vessel walls, and causes plaque to accumulate in the veins.
  • Drink tea. The antioxidants in black and green tea help to increase the width of the blood vessels so that the body is able to pump blood more efficiently.

What vitamin is good for blood circulation?

The 8 nutrients that make up the group of B vitamins are essential for forming red blood cells and fighting infections, among others.  Vitamin B3 (also called niacin), can help improve blood circulation by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and increasing blood vessel function.  In most cases enough B3 can be gained through a balanced diet – leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are especially good sources. Some people may also benefit from a vitamin B3 supplement. Our clinic is conveniently located at 4330 Maple Rd. 1st Floor Buffalo, NY 14226 and we serve patients from Buffalo NY, Cheektowaga NY, Amherst NY, and the surrounding areas. We serve patients from Buffalo NY, Pine Hill NY, Cleveland Hill NY, Sloan NY, Kenmore NY, and Kaisertown NY.