Tingling in the leg is a sensory syndrome known as paresthesia that can range from a minor, temporary sensation to a more chronic and troubling condition. It happens when the typical feeling in the leg is changed or decreased, frequently resulting in a pins-and-needles sensation or total lack of sensation.
According to research, more than 20 million people all over the United States are estimated to have some form of neuropathy where their legs or feet are affected. Tingling in the leg should not be disregarded since it might indicate an underlying health problem that needs to be evaluated and treated. It can impact your mobility, comfort, and general well-being depending on its cause, thus it is important to treat the underlying cause and seek proper medical care.
In this article, you will learn everything about tingling in feet and legs.
Causes of Tingling in the Legs
Tingling or numbness in the legs can be caused by various factors and underlying medical conditions. Here are some common causes of tingling in the legs at night:
- Poor Circulation: Reduced blood flow to the legs can lead to tingling or numbness. Conditions like peripheral artery disease (PAD) and blood clots can restrict blood flow and cause these symptoms.
- Nerve Compression: Pressure on nerves in the spine or extremities can result in tingling. Conditions like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or carpal tunnel syndrome can compress nerves and lead to leg tingling.
- Diabetes: Diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy, where high blood sugar levels damage nerves, leading to tingling and numbness in the legs and feet.
- Vitamin Deficiencies: Deficiencies in vitamins like B12, B6, or folate can result in peripheral neuropathy and leg tingling.
- Infections: Certain infections, such as shingles (herpes zoster) or Lyme disease, can lead to nerve inflammation and tingling in the affected areas.
- Toxic Exposures: Exposure to toxins or heavy metals, such as lead or arsenic, can damage nerves and cause leg tingling.
- Medications: Some medications, including chemotherapy drugs and certain antibiotics, can have side effects, including peripheral neuropathy and leg tingling.
- Autoimmune Disorders: Autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome can affect the nervous system and cause tingling or numbness in the legs.
Symptoms of Tingling in the Legs
Tingling in the legs at night can manifest with various symptoms depending on the underlying cause. Here are common symptoms associated with leg tingling:
- Pins-and-Needles Sensation
- Burning Sensation
- Tingling Extending Down the Leg
- Balance Problems
Diagnosis of Tingling in the Legs
Diagnosing tingling or numbness in the legs and feet involves a systematic approach to identifying the underlying cause. Your doctor will start with a physical exam and obtain a detailed medical history, including information on your symptoms, work environment, social habits (including alcohol use), toxic exposure, risk of HIV or other infectious illnesses, and family history of neurological disease.
Next, your doctor will perform the following diagnostic test depending on the suspected causes:
- Blood Tests to detect conditions such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, infections, or autoimmune disorders.
- Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) measure the speed and strength of electrical signals traveling along nerves, helping diagnose conditions like neuropathy.
- Electromyography (EMG) evaluates the electrical activity in muscles and identifies nerve or muscle disorders.
- X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to visualize structural issues like herniated discs, tumors, or blood vessel abnormalities.
- Nerve Biopsy to diagnose conditions like vasculitis or neuropathy.
Treatment Options for Tingling in the Legs
Treatment options for tingling in the legs depend on the underlying cause and may include:
- Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga may help ease sensations and improve overall well-being.
- Proper medications like pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs are specifically used to manage neuropathic pain.
- Physical therapy can help improve flexibility, strength, posture, and reduce nerve compression.
- Surgery for conditions like herniated discs or structural abnormalities compressing nerves to relieve pressure on affected nerves.
Prevention Tips for Tingling in the Legs
- Manage chronic health disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Perform regular physical activities
- Don’t sit or stand for a long time
- Manage stress with meditation or yoga
- Ensure proper nutrition
Get Relief from Tingling in the Legs at North Atlanta Vascular Clinic
You should contact a doctor immediately if the tingling in your legs disappears and worsens with accompanied pain. If you are experiencing tingling or numbness in the legs, schedule an appointment at North Atlanta Vascular Clinic. With a team of experienced doctors in Suwanee, GA, we provide patients with long-lasting relief. For more information on our services, visit our website or contact us at (770)-771- 5260.
Content Source: NIH