Why We Get Tingling Legs

Everybody has experienced the tingling sensation (otherwise known as pins and needles) when you have been lazing in the same position for too long. In most cases, the odd tingling in your legs or other body parts is nothing to worry about; and quickly fades away. However, in some circumstances, this could be a side effect of other health conditions.

A portion of these health conditions can be benign with no cause for concern, although others are a little more serious; especially if you have tingling legs on a regular basis.

Causes

There are multiple causes of why your legs might be tingling, including;

  • Diabetes
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Sciatica
  • Viral infections
  • Vein Disease

Diabetes

Many people who suffer from long-term diabetes develop nerve damage, which generally starts in the feet and legs. This is caused by persistently high blood sugar which leads to other complications such as; numbness, burning sensations and acute pain in the affected areas.

Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS is a condition that gives you an incredible urge to move your legs. This is usually caused by unpleasant sensations such as pain or tingling. The sensations worsen when you have been stationary for extended periods of time, or at night when you are not moving as much. RLS is caused as a result of other health conditions such as kidney failure or injury to the spinal cord.

Anxiety 

One that you may not immediately relate to the tingling is anxiety. However anxiety symptoms can be very diverse, and often worsen at night or during a panic attack. As a result of chronic anxiety many people experience tingling, numbness and even physical pain.

Vitamin Deficiencies 

In extreme cases of vitamin deficiencies, it can cause anaemia and tingling. One of the most notable deficiencies for this is B12. These deficiencies can even occur through severe alcohol abuse.

Sciatica

Sciatica happens when there has been damage to the sciatic nerve. Normally, this starts in the buttocks and works its way down the leg, in some cases reaching the feet. It usually only affects one leg at a time with symptoms such as tingling, pain and numbness.

Viral infections

Nerve damage can also be caused by a number of infectious diseases, a leading disease being herpes. In some cases, the symptoms can last for years. Other bacterial and viral infections that can cause nerve damage and tingling are;

  • Shingles
  • Lyme disease
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • HIV/AIDS

Vein Disease

Diseases in the veins disrupt the steady blood flow around the body, which leads to issues including blood clots, and then cuts off the blood supply to the nerves. Diseases can vary in extremities from DVT to the common condition of varicose veins.

Treatment

It’s important to make yourself more comfortable, no matter what health conditions you are suffering from. Here are some ways you are able to relieve the tingling sensation;

Medication

Depending on the cause of the tingling, some can be treated with medications or antibiotics. Medications that change or block nerve signaling may help to reduce symptoms.

Rest

A common home remedy is simply to rest. Symptoms will reduce by putting your feet up and taking pressure off of the affected area. Therapies such as massage will also provide comfort.

Supportive Devices

Specially designed footwear, braces, acupressure pillows or laser massage devices can all provide relief; aiding in reducing uncomfortable symptoms.

Conclusion

A tingling sensation is a common problem, however when it becomes long-term, it could be a sign of other underlying health conditions.

If you are suffering from long-term tingling in your legs, then it would be advisable to visit your medical practice for a diagnosis. Although it may be nothing to worry about, it is always better to get a check-up. Tingling can be a warning sign, and if left untreated, it could lead to serious problems.

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