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Ask the Podiatrist: Why Are My Feet Numb and Tingly?

At some time or another, we have all experienced numbness or tingly sensations in our feet. Often referred to as “pins and needles”, this feeling is caused by reduced blood flow after remaining in the same place for an extended period of time. Numbness is particularly common when sleeping in an uncomfortable position.



Usually, the normal sensation typically returns without any issues. If you’re regularly experiencing prolonged numbness or tingling in your feet, you should take some time to visit Kansas City Foot Specialists to see what the culprit is. In fact, we put together a list of more serious conditions that can be related to your foot tingling and/or numbness.

Pain & Tingling Caused by Neuromas

Neuromas are also known as “pinched nerves” due to the pain similarities. It’s a growth of nerve tissue frequently found in the ball of the foot, at the base of the 3rd and 4th toes. Neuromas have a variety of different causes, but are commonly caused by abnormal movements of the long bones behind your toes (metatarsals) which comes from wearing tight or improperly fitting shoes. While you can try some at-home treatments designed to temporarily treat your neuromas, we highly recommend contacting the podiatrists at Kansas City Foot Specialists for a proper evaluation.

 

Peripheral Neuropathy 

Peripheral Neuropathy is the damage to the communication network (peripheral nervous system) that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. While diabetes is the most common cause of nerve injury, there are many other things that can cause peripheral neuropathy such as alcoholism, chemotherapy, medications and others.

Individuals with diabetes can experience peripheral neuropathy because diabetes actually reduces the blood flow to parts of your body which deprives your body/systems of oxygen and nutrients that ultimately leads to nerve damage.

The first step in treating peripheral neuropathy is visiting a specialist. A specialist will be able to identify any contributing causes and take actions to correct them. This often results in the issue resolving itself and the nerves recovering as well.

 

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Can Be a Contributor

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, affects the large nerve entering your foot. In Tarsal Tunnel, the nerve running down the lower leg into the foot is either damaged from an injury or consistent pressure on the nerve over time. As time passes and the damage worsens, tingling can occur. The leading cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome is abnormal pronation. We recommend scheduling a physical exam with your expert podiatrist so a clear diagnosis can be made.

 

Peripheral Arterial Disease Causes Poor Circulation in Legs

 

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a cardiovascular disorder caused by a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs when fatty deposits (plaque) builds up. This buildup results in poor blood circulation to the legs and feet as the arteries begin to harden and become more narrow. If detected early, the progression can be slowed and the chance of a heart attack or stroke can be decreased. If you are experiencing any leg or foot pain, you should seek attention from your podiatric physician because it could be a warning sign of a serious disease.   

 

Herniated Disks Cause Leg and Feet Tingling or Numbness

A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. A herniated disk is most commonly associated with a spinal disorder but it often reveals itself through consistent leg and foot pain, tingling, or numbness. In most cases, a physical exam and the individuals’ medical history is all that is needed to make an accurate diagnosis.


If you are suffering from frequent numbness, tingling, or pain in your legs or feet, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist at Kansas City Foot Specialists as soon as possible. Call us today at (913) 325-2958.