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Numbness and Tingling in Feet

Have you been experiencing numbness and tingling in your feet and have no idea why this is happening? What could be the reasons behind numbness and tingling in feet? Is it something to worry about? This article answers all these questions and more.
Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Numbness and tingling in feet can occur due to many reasons, some being absolutely temporary and normal, while others being something that may require immediate medical attention. Normally when a person feels numbness and senses tingling anywhere in the body, in this case the feet, there is a temporary loss of sensation. Often it is accompanied by symptoms like pain while movement, burning sensation and prickling. There can be almost any reason behind the condition, from heart issues, to stroke, to diabetes or simply because you are not sitting or standing in the right position! Therefore, in order to get a clear idea of the causes behind your individual symptoms, it is important for you to understand your symptoms in a much better way. We shall discuss the causes of tingling and numbness in feet, but before that, let us have a look at some of the additional symptoms that might occur along with it.
Symptoms Accompanied with Numbness and Tingling in Feet
Just try to remember the last time you felt numbness and tingling in your feet and toes? How did that feel? Were there some other symptoms and signs? Did you experience pain, itchiness or a burning sensation? Well, mentioned below are some additional signs and symptoms that can help you recall and identify as to how you could have felt. Read them carefully.
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Prickling sensation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Burning sensation
  • Rashes
If the symptoms you are experiencing are confined to the aforementioned, then there shouldn't be a serious problem. The reason could be as simple as sitting in the same position wherein external pressure has caused slow blood flow to the feet. However, consulting a doctor becomes necessary, especially if you are experiencing some serious symptoms such as those mentioned below.
  • Breathing problem
  • Inability to move or walk
  • Problems in speech like slurring causing lack of clarity
  • Brief loss of consciousness leaving you confused and startled
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Fatigue and Dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Unable to control the bowel or bladder
After reading these symptoms, were you able to recall if any of these happened to you? If the answer is yes, then you must consult your doctor to get yourself checked and determine the cause behind it.
What Causes Numbness and Tingling in Feet
We now know the symptoms, but what could be the cause behind one getting these sudden attacks of the feet getting numb and tingly? Well, the most common and, more or less the main cause of your feet going all numb and tingling is the lack of adequate blood supply to the muscles of your legs and feet. This could be either because of a prolonged external pressure or an internal blockage. This could occur due to blood clot, nerve knots or nerve damage because of which the feet are unable to receive adequate blood supply. Mentioned below are some specific causes associated with the condition.
We all are aware that diabetes leads to various additional health complications... one of which is feet numbness. Diabetes is also associated with being overweight, which again can cause lack of blood supply because of the additional weight on the limbs. So make sure that you take necessary steps for weight management and controlling diabetes. If you already have diabetes and it is necessary to keep in under control as uncontrolled diabetes can lead to diabetic neuropathy, which can cause numbness and tingling in your body.
Heart Problems and Stroke
See, all the causes are related to each other in some way or the other. We all know how obesity and diabetes are also responsible for triggering heart related problems. Heart problems like angina or heart attack can cause blockage in the blood supply due to blood clots or damaged nerves, causing numbness in the limbs. Not only this, numbness can also be a warning sign of stroke. So if you suspect any of these conditions, get in touch with a doctor immediately.
Problems in the Nervous System
It is the nervous system that is responsible for us being able to feel all kinds of sensation. Any kind of issue or damage in the nervous system wherein the brain is unable to receive or send signals in a proper way, can cause numbness in the body, including the feet. Conditions that can affect the nervous system include drug abuse, alcoholism, certain medications and so on. Certain injuries and health conditions like injury in the spinal cord, tumors, systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis, to name a few can be the cause as well.
External Causes
Apart from the internal health conditions, there can be certain external factors contributing to the condition. I have already mentioned about the prolonged position of the feet in the same way which can cause loss of movement, sensation, numbness and lead to tingling and prickling. Other external causes include wearing shoes or a cast which is tight and uncomfortable. Temperature is also another cause behind the numbness. If your feet has been exposed to low temperature, like in cold water, then it can cause numbness.
Other Causes
Apart from the aforementioned causes, mentioned below are some more reasons that may lead to this condition. Have a look.
  • Osteoporosis
  • Injury in the back
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Metal poisoning
  • Deficiency of vitamin B12
The treatment would actually depend upon the actual cause behind it. Which is why, you should get in touch with your healthcare specialist as soon as possible in order to diagnose the cause in time. If the cause is identifiable at your end, then make sure you work on it. For example, if you are exposed to low temperatures then make sure you keep yourself warm. Sitting in the same position which exerts pressure on your feet should also be avoided. If you suspect a much severe reason behind numbness in feet, then going to the doctor will actually be the ultimate solution to find all your answers. Take care.