Is Legs Feeling Numb and Tingly a Warning Sign of Vascular Disease?
Numbness and tingling feeling in your legs and feet is a fairly common disorder experienced by many. It can cause unpleasant, persistent, and disabling pain and discomfort.
However, the bad news is if the tingling sensation and numbness persist, that may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, including vascular diseases such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
It can also result from other conditions, including multiple sclerosis, poor posture, diabetes, and fibromyalgia.
The sensation may get felt around the ankle and foot or in the whole leg.
This article shall explore the causes of numbness and tingling in legs and feet, their symptoms, and appropriate treatments.
Common Causes of Numbness or Tingling Feeling in the Legs
The feeling of numbness or Tingling in your feet may be due to several conditions. They include:
Peripherals Artery Disease (PAD)
Most individuals experiencing PAD may experience the following symptoms:
- Leg cramps
- Leg sores that appear without any reasons
- Foot and thigh pain
- Leg muscle fatigue
- Leg numbness while at rest
- Tingling feeling
- Severe pain when lifting your legs
- Weak pulse in your legs
- Loss or slow growth of toenails
- Coldness in your legs and feet
The risk of developing PAD is higher amongst individuals with diabetes, those who smoke, have high cholesterol, and are overweight.
Note that if PAD is severe, it can result in amputation of your limbs.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disabling condition affecting the central nervous system.
A person suffering from MS has a poor immune system that attacks the nerve fibers causing irreversible scarring known as sclerosis. Since it is a progressive disease that worsens over time, it interferes with transmitting signals from the brain to the rest of the body.
Other common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis include:
- Muscle tremors
- Partial or total loss of vision
- Tingling sensation
- Poor body coordination and balance
- Weak limbs
MS likely causes numbness and tingling feelings in your lower limbs. Thus, if you experience such a symptom, consider seeking urgent care for a diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that constitutes the following symptoms:
- Memory deterioration
- Body stiffness and soreness
- Widespread musculoskeletal pain
Researchers believe that fibromyalgia intensifies painful sensations affecting how the brain perceives and processes pain and non-pain signals.
The known risk factors for fibromyalgia include:
- A major traumatic event. These may include surgery, depression, infection, and physical trauma, mainly from an accident or injury.
- Lupus. This neurological disorder is known to likely cause the development of fibromyalgia.
- Gender. Most women are more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than men.
- Repetitive injuries. Injuries resulting from repetitive stress on a joint, including frequent ankle twisting, knee bending, or tragic falls, may highly result in the development of fibromyalgia.
Thus, it can be a common cause of numbness and tingling feelings in your lower limbs.
A stroke occurs when blood vessels in the brain rupture, reducing blood flow from reaching the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is one of the chief causes of death in the United States.
Many individuals experiencing numbness in their lower and upper limbs may experience additional symptoms such as tickling, tingling, itching, and crawling under their skin.
Other symptoms you may experience include:
- Trouble speaking
- Slurred speech
- Increased agitation
- Trouble walking
- Vision problems
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you start experiencing sudden and acute numbness in your legs, feet, and other body parts, including your face and arms, consider calling 911 immediately. Prompt treatment may prevent long-term disability and brain damage.
When Is the Tingling in the Lower Legs Serious?
If you experience a lot of tingling feeling in your legs, it can be a result of:
- Spinal nerve compression. Alongside the leg tingling, you may also experience back pain and changes in your bladder and bowel control. These and many more symptoms suggest that your spinal cord has gotten jeopardized; thus, you may need immediate attention.
- Severe numbness and tingling in the absence of other symptoms. Sometimes people take numbness of the legs as a mild issue. However, if it persists for days without other symptoms, consider seeking medical help to identify the cause and get treatment.
Due to the varied causes of numbness and tingling in the legs and feet, treatment solely depends on the cause and reasons for the arising symptoms.
These treatments mainly focus on solving underlying medical conditions. They include:
Use of Medications
Once you start experiencing prolonged numbness and tingling in your legs, consider visiting your doctor for assessment and treatment. Depending on the type of condition they diagnose, these medical practitioners prescribe medications such as:
- Antibiotics: Used to fight off viral or bacterial infections.
- Antidepressants: Individuals suffering from depression should consider taking antidepressants. They can also help prevent and treat the onset of fibromyalgia.
- Corticosteroids: These medications help to combat multiple sclerosis and reduce chronic inflammation and numbness.
In other situations, you can decide to do at-home remedies to reduce numbness. They include:
- Using ice. If you have a repetitive injury, you may put an icepack on the affected area to reduce the pain and numbness.
- Heat. Warmth can help soothe the tingling sensations associated with sore muscles.
- Exercising. Exercise can be a remedy for any disease or condition. It helps increase blood flow and strengthens the muscles and blood vessels, allowing you to regain feeling on the numb limb.
- Alcohol cessation. Most practitioners advise their patients to avoid drinking alcohol because it accelerates inflammation and chronic pain symptoms, translating to leg numbness and flair-ups.
Alternative medicine is often used alongside traditional medical treatments to improve an individual’s health.
These alternative therapies are very convenient and help reduce common conditions resulting in numbness in your legs. These therapies include:
- Acupuncture. People believe that inserting thin needles into your body may help relieve pain and stimulate your sensory nerves. Thus, it may help alleviate your legs' numbness and tingling feeling.
- Massage. A deep tissue massage may offer muscle relief, relieving tension and reducing numb feelings in your limbs.
- Meditation. Practicing meditation helps you focus on yourself to remain calm and relaxed.
Numbness and Tingling in your legs are common symptoms of various medical conditions ranging from mild to chronic.
As soon as you start experiencing these symptoms, consider visiting a doctor to conduct a complete diagnosis. Finding the underlying cause and working on a great treatment plan may help alleviate the numb and tingly feeling and reduce long-term complications.