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Numbness in Feet

A lot of persons live with numbness in feet. While some have been able to get a way out of this nagging medical condition, a lot of others have had to live with it for the rest of their lives. For those who cannot find a lasting solution, numbness in feet remains a cross they have to carry through life.

Numbness in feet results from different medical conditions; they can be transient or become chronic. Generally, they start from the feet and can spread gradually to other areas if not quickly handled or treated properly. Early intervention is the best way out.

What Causes Numbness in Feet?

Numbness in feet and legs when walking does not come suddenly; it comes from some other known or unknown medical conditions which can primarily be deeply seated in other organs apart from the feet. Several disease conditions have been implicated in the development of this problem:

Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy

One serious complication of diabetes is neuropathy (disease or dysfunction of peripheral nerves, resulting in numbness or weakness). The feet of the affected person loses pain sensations and becomes vulnerable to injuries, sores, and infections. There could be numbness in feet after sitting or standing for a long time.

Spinal cord injury

The nerves supply sensory impulses to the various parts of the body. But when there is a spinal cord injury, the part distal to the affected portion could become completely cut-off from receiving sensations. This can manifest with numbness in feet.

Poor blood circulation

If for any reason there is a pressure on arteries supplying blood to the legs, there would be poor tissue perfusion leading to reduced oxygen and nutrients reaching the affected area. For instance, if when sleeping you carelessly place your legs across the hard edges of your bed, blood supply to your feet is reduced. When this happens, the early warning signs could be numbness in feet or tingling in feet getting out of bed.

Vitamin deficiency

Another cause of numbness in feet is vitamin deficiency. However, it must be understood that it is not all vitamin deficiencies that bring about this symptom. Specifically, the deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to nervous disorders which eventually manifest in ‘pin and needle’ or burning sensation in the feet and sometimes palms. This sensation can get worse during running, badly reducing one’s speed.

Inflammation of the blood vessels

Inflammation of the blood vessels, otherwise known as vasculitis, can also result in poor blood circulation to the tissues around the area of inflammation. This can particularly present with pain in the calves and the feet. Prolonged blood vessel inflammation can result in the formation of a blood clot or thrombus, which then becomes a threat to life.

Side effect of chemotherapy

Certain drugs have the tendency to cause numbness and cramps (as side effects). When such drugs are taken for a prolonged period, they may produce such side effect as leg cramps, which can continually harass one.

Bone fracture

One other culprit is bone fracture. With fracture, tissues and nerves are injured, leading to severe pain, numbness, leg cramps, and sometimes blood clot formation.


Have you ever been exposed to extremely cold weather? If so, you would have experienced some level of discomfort resulting from such exposure. The extreme cold condition leads to freezing of the fingers, toes, and numbness in the hands and feet as well.

Heavy metal poisoning

One obvious symptom of heavy metal poisoning like lead poisoning is numbness in feet. There could also be leg cramps.


Stroke is a condition of loss of sensation in some parts of the body as a result of rupture of blood vessel in the brain or due to blockage of the brain vessels by an embolus, thrombus or any other foreign body.

Alcohol and cigarette consumption

Excessive consumption of alcohol and cigarette can lead to vitamin deficiency and the introduction of some systemic poisoning that can present with numbness in legs after quitting smoking in the long run.

Monthly menstrual cycle

Some women experience nasty symptoms before period. Such symptoms can be a tingling in the hands, numbness of feet, lower back pain, etc. The symptoms and signs can also accompany early pregnancy. During this period, the woman may experience early morning numbness or tingling feet in getting out of bed.

Signs and Symptoms of Feet Numbness

Feet numbness has noticeable signs and symptoms which can aid you in diagnosing the condition. They can also be accompanied by other symptoms. These signs and symptoms include

  • Leg numbness
  • Pins and needles sensation (Prickling)
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Tingling in feet getting out of bed
  • Numbness in feet after sitting
  • Numbness in feet and legs when walking
  • Leg cramps
  • Burning sensation in the feet
  • Weak-feeling foot
  • Blurred vision

Treatment of Numbness in feet

Numbness in feet is a treatable condition. However, the prognosis depends on the cause and the duration the disease has taken.

  • Treat the cause: The best solution is to treat the cause of the problem. For instance, with proper management of diabetes, the numbness of feet associated with the condition gradually gets alleviated.
  • Treat injuries: With the right treatment applied to your injuries, the complications are adequately taken care of as well. Once the source of the trouble is well handled, the tendency is that the problem itself also vanishes.
  • Use Vitamin supplement: Since some forms of foot numbness result from vitamin deficiency, it would be wise to go on vitamin supplements to effectively eliminate the problem.
  • :Reduce or stop consumption of alcohol and cigarette: Alcohol and cigarette are a known cause of numbness in feet. So, putting a stop to cigarette and alcohol consumption or reducing the quantity consumed can go a long way in helping to solve the problem.

Home Remedies

The following home remedies have been tested and proven to work well in the management of numbness of feet.

  • Warm compress: This can be achieved by using towel or napkins dipped into warm water to softly add some compressions to the area.
  • Massage: Put some coconut, mustard or olive oil in your palm and use it to massage the area in a circular fashion.
  • Herbs: A research made by the University of Maryland Medical Center revealed that Ginkgo supplements play a vital role at preventing blood platelets from sticking together, thereby improving blood circulation.
  • Exercise: Quality exercise also helps tremendously in improving blood circulation and reducing some of the symptoms such as tingling.
  • Change position: Don’t sit or lie in one position for too long. You need to change your position periodically. This helps to improve blood circulation to all parts of the body.


Numbness of feet can be quite disturbing and troubling if not promptly addressed. But with proper and early intervention, most of the signs and symptoms that accompany this condition can be fully handled.

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