It happens to all of us that after being in the same position for a long time we feel that uncomfortable tingling. Sometimes, the sensation is so uncomfortable that we do not support the foot and although it does not hurt, the tingling can become unpleasant. It is what we colloquially know as numb legs, and what specialists call paresthesia.
It is something very common that can also occur in the arms, feet, or hands. However, numb legs can also be warning us of a dangerous condition such as diabetes or even cancer.
We know that if we are for a long time in a position in which we keep one or both legs pressed, such as when we cross them or when we sit with one leg under the other or even when sleeping, they can fall asleep. They feel like tickles, but they are not pleasant. Logic may indicate that perhaps it is a circulatory problem, and by taking another position, the tingling in the legs disappears, but it turns out that, according to it is explained on the portal Medical News Today, In addition to impoverishing blood flow, the pressure also affects the nerves.
This sensation is temporary and its most common cause is poor postural habits. After a short time in another position, the paresthesia disappears. However, the appearance of this symptom, chronically or prolonged, without any cause related to the position of our limbs, may be related to an underlying condition.
Physiotherapist Marcelle Pinheiro says in an article for the Tu Saúde portal that among the first causes, in addition to posture, any injury that is pressing on the nerves, such as a herniated disc, that it is the inflammation of the intervertebral discs that, when it is in an advanced state, presses the spinal nerves adding this numbness to the characteristic pain. Hip, back, leg, and ankle injuries can also cause numbness.
Medline Plus, on the other hand, add to the list of causes issues such as insect bites, or the shingles, formally known as herpes zoster, which can even be fatal, among other infections. Also, tingling in the legs can be associated with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and some medications; as well as with the deficiency of some B complex vitamins.
Medical News Today, notes peripheral arterial disease, which makes the arteries narrower, which makes it difficult for the blood to pass as it should. The legs are greatly affected by this condition and the numbness may be accompanied by cramps, pain, and weakness. These symptoms can be relieved with rest.
Moving on to even more complicated causes is diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage in people with diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this neuropathy It causes different types of damage and, consequently, different symptoms, among which is numbness in the feet and could extend to the legs.
Finally, and among the causes mentioned by most of the sources consulted and that generate the most anguish are tumors. Growth of these or noncancerous nodules, abscesses, and cysts can press on nerves in the spinal cord or legs, causing numbness.
Some actions we can take at home to relieve tingling in the legs, according to Medical News Today, are rest, hot and cold therapies, massages and, of course, trying to eat a healthy and balanced diet as well as a correct routine of physical activity and taking actions to improve circulation in the legs. However, there is no substitute for an expert review.
In all cases, consultation with a specialist is essential, first to make the proper diagnosis and then to prescribe the relevant treatment as soon as possible. Sometimes, something that can worry us, has a more or less simple solution. For example, in the case of injuries, such as hernias, taking anti-inflammatory medicines, muscle relaxants and physiotherapy can significantly improve the condition.
The important thing is not to underestimate a symptom, because it is simply not common, or it does not hurt us. If it is chronic, if it is frequent, and if it appears without a common cause such as sitting in a position that puts pressure on our legs, it should be checked. Let’s listen to our body, many times it gives us signals to attend to it before it becomes complicated.
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