Numbness Leg occurs due to sitting in a position that exerts too much pressure on the nerves or restricts blood flow, a person may have numbness in their legs and feet. Long-term or inexplicable numbness, on the other hand, might indicate an underlying medical issue.
Conditions including multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, peripheral artery disease, and fibromyalgia can cause long-term numbness or tingling in the legs and feet. The feeling might be felt across the leg, below the knee, or in various parts of the foot.
Numb legs and feet may be caused by sitting in a position that puts too much pressure on the nerves or reduces blood flow. Long-lasting numbness in the legs and feet may indicate an underlying condition.
Causes of Numbness Leg
Postural habits that put sustained pressure on nerves or reduce blood flow in the lower limbs are the most common cause of temporary numbness in the legs and feet.
These may include:
- crossing the legs for too long
- sitting or kneeling for long periods
- sitting on the feet
- wearing pants, socks, or shoes that are too tight
Many people describe this feeling as their leg having “fallen asleep.”
Numbness Leg due to Injury
Injuries to different parts of the body may put pressure on certain nerves that could cause feet and leg numbness. These may include the:
Some causes of injury may include:
- slipped or herniated discs
- hip dislocation
- foot or ankle injuries
- sitting on the feet for too long
- other back problems that trap a nerve
Some people with diabetes develop a type of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy.
This may cause numbness, pain, and weakness that begins in the toes and may gradually rise up to the feet, ankles, and knees.
Lower back issues and sciatica
Problems in the lower back, such as a breakdown or herniation of spinal discs, may cause compression of the nerves going to the legs, leading to numbness or sensory disturbances.
Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or compressed. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the legs and is the longest nerve in the body.
If this nerve becomes irritated or compressed, a person may experience numbness or tingling in their legs.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve that runs down the back of the leg, along the inside of the ankle, and into the foot is compressed, squeezed, or damaged.
The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space on the inside of the ankle. People with tarsal tunnel syndrome tend to feel numbness, burning, tingling, or shooting pain in their ankles, heels, and feet.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes the peripheral blood arteries in the legs, arms, and stomach to narrow. This reduces the amount of blood they can pump, reducing blood flow.
PAD may cause the following symptoms in the legs, hips, and calves when a person is walking:
Symptoms of PAD typically go away after a few minutes of rest.
Tumors or other abnormal growths
Tumors, cysts, abscesses, and benign (non-cancerous) growths can put pressure on the brain, spinal cord, or any part of the legs and feet. This pressure can restrict blood flow to the legs and feet, causing numbness.
Chronic or excessive alcohol consumption may also lead to signs of peripheral neuropathy, such as limb numbness. This is referred to as alcoholic neuropathy.
This type of nerve damage is linked to reduced levels of B vitamins, such as B-1 (thiamine), B-9 (folate), and B-12, which is caused by excessive alcohol intake.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread body pain, aching, and tenderness. Some people with fibromyalgia also experience numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
Most people with fibromyalgia experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- muscle stiffness and soreness, especially in the morning or after sleeping
- chronic exhaustion
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- memory problems and difficulty thinking clearly, sometimes called fibro-fog
- restless leg syndrome
If numbness in the legs and feet is not accompanied by any other symptoms or is not long-term, it is unlikely to be caused by fibromyalgia.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes sensory nerve damage that may lead to numbness in a region of the body.
Numbness associated with MS may only last a short period of time. However, in some cases, it could gradually worsen and become physically disabling.
Stokes and mini-strokes
Strokes or mini-strokes can cause brain damage that may affect how the mind interprets and processes nerve signals. A stroke or mini-stroke can sometimes cause temporary or long-term numbness in parts of the body.
Treatment of Numbness Leg
The proper treatment for numb legs and feet depends entirely on the cause.
- Antidepressants: Some antidepressants, such as duloxetine and milnacipran, have been approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
- Corticosteroids: Some corticosteroids may help reduce chronic inflammation and numbness associated with conditions such as MS.
- Gabapentin and pregabalin: Medications that block or change nerve signaling, like gabapentin and pregabalin, may help reduce numbness associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia, MS, and diabetic neuropathy.
Home remedies for Numbness Leg
Some home remedies may help relieve uncomfortable numbness in the legs and feet by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, or reducing nerve pressure.
- ice or heat treatment
- supportive devices
- knee braces
- Epsom salt baths
- a healthful, balanced diet
- alcohol reduction or avoidance
Alternative therapies for Numbness Leg
Some alternative therapies may also help with symptoms of conditions that may cause numbness in the legs and feet. Therapies include:
- mindfulness meditation
- guided imagery