Many people, even those who are in good health, experience the sensation of their toes falling asleep. This is typically a temporary condition that goes away after about 15-20 minutes.
If you find yourself getting pins and needles or experiencing leg numbness for more than an hour, then it's best to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
There are several valid reasons why you experience numbness in your legs. It could be from sitting for too long hours in one position or other serious illnesses like diabetes or nerve damage problems. Below are the other possible reasons.
Long hours sitting with your legs crossed can cause a type of numbness called paresthesia. The outcome is your brain, and the nerves will prevent you from "talking" to each other. The other term for Paresthesia most people will refer to is the body parts that have "fallen asleep."
Aside from numbness, you will also experience tingling, burning, and a feeling that your skin is crawling. You can avoid it by changing your sitting position once in a while and try not to do the leg-crossed position for long hours.
Paresthesia is a condition where the person feels tingling and numbness in their hands, feet, lips or tongue? It’s different from feeling pain because it doesn't hurt. You may feel like your skin is crawling or pins and needles are poking at you!
The Sciatica nerve works from your back to your butt and hips and down to your legs. So, when it gets pinched, you will experience leg numbness. This condition only affects half part of your body. You mostly experience it because of having extra body weight, sitting for a long time, or mostly happening to an older age people. Aside from numbness, you will also feel muscle weakness, tingling, and worst pain when you sneeze, cough, or sit for more hours. Medicines like steroids shots or anti-inflammatories can help the patient ease the pain. Others consider physical therapy too because it often helps a lot. But some need surgery depending on the doctor's advice.
Having high blood sugar for a very long time can cause damage to all nerves throughout your body, mostly in your legs and feet. A physician may call it peripheral neuropathy. Besides your legs, you will also feel numbness in your arms and hands, and you will notice that it gets worse throughout the night. You will feel muscle weakness, intense leg pain, trouble with walking and balance, infections, and foot sores. It's vital to see a health professional if you experience these signs. You need someone to help you control your blood sugar because when left ignored, it will cause nerve damage and other serious conditions.
- Peripheral Artery Disease
When arteries are damaged and inflamed, they can narrow, making it harder to get enough flow of blood to the other parts of the body, including the limb. It is what Peripheral Artery Disease is, or PAD. You can possibly get it from smoking, obesity, having high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Besides leg numbness, you could also have leg cramps, pain when you walk or climb stairs, and a tired feeling in your legs and hips. Peripheral Artery Disease can raise the possibility of getting a stroke and heart attack. Doctors will suggest medications to manage the symptoms, relieve the pain and protect your heart.
- Multiple Sclerosis
The early symptom of Multiple Sclerosis is numbness. If you are diagnosed with it, your body's defense against germs or the immune system will attack the central nervous system. You will feel the needles and pins' pain feeling. The numbness may become serious if you cannot feel your feet and may struggle to walk.
Numbness is one of the several symptoms associated with chronic and temporary numbness.
A lot of people with numbness in their feet and legs experience more symptoms intermittently or happens at the same time, such as:
- crawling feeling under the skin
Treatment and Medication
The proper treatment for numb legs and feet entirely depends on the cause. But there are medical options available for a long-term numbness in the feet and legs, which includes the following:
- Antidepressants. Milnacipran and duloxetine are considered antidepressants drugs that have been approved for treating fibromyalgia.
- Corticosteroids. This option helps in reducing the numbness and chronic inflammation associated with conditions like MS.
- Gabapentin and pregabalin. These kinds of medication that change or block nerve signaling may help lessen the numbness associated with fibromyalgia condition, MS, and diabetic neuropathy.
Some people don't rely on medication most of the time or don't jump into it right away when they feel numbness in their legs or feet. Often, they considered home remedies, which can also help to relieve uncomfortable numbness, and it includes the following:
- Rest. Numbness of legs and feet is caused by nerve pressure and may sometimes resolve by just having proper rest.
- Ice. It helps to lessen the swelling in the affected area that puts pressure on nerves. You can apply wrapped ice packs or cold compresses to the numb area for 15 minutes at a time daily.
- Heat. It helps loosen sore, stiff, and tense muscles that put pressure on the nerve, which causes numbness. But, prevent overheating the affected area, as it may worsen the inflammation and cause numbness and pain even more.
- Massage. Massaging numb feet and legs helps develop the blood flows and lessen the symptoms.
- Exercise. Lack of exercise can weaken the blood vessels and heart, lessening their ability to pump appropriate blood to the lower limbs. Some activities you can do to reduce chronic inflammation or pain and promote blood flow are pilates, tai chi, and yoga.
- Sleep. Many people take for granted the importance of sleeping. Few of the chronic conditions these days associated with feet and leg numbness get worse because of lack of enough sleep.
- A healthful and balanced diet. Lack of vitamin B and other malnutrition problems can cause damage to the nerve, which leads to numbness. Having enough vitamins and nutrients the body needs can lessen pain and chronic inflammation.
- Alcohol avoidance or reduction. Alcohol contains toxins in it and can cause damage to the nerve. When it happens, you will experience numbness in the legs and feet. Alcohol is considered one reason why the symptoms of inflammatory conditions and chronic pain become worse and can even flare up even more.
Remember the saying, "health is wealth." You are responsible for your health and no one else. If you believe that you have the signs and symptoms explained above, it's about time to be more conscious about it before things get worse. Nothing beats a healthy heart, body, and mind.