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What causes numb feet?

Detecting your symptoms

Losing sensation in your feet can affect your sense of balance and touch, which could hinder your day-to-day activities. Numbness of feet may be an isolated sensation or accompanied by other symptoms, including:

  • Sharp prickling sensations radiating throughout the feet
  • Pins-and-needles sensation throughout the foot and ankle
  • Persistent tickling and itchy feeling
  • Weak-feeling feet and ankles that cause pain or inability to walk comfortably

These symptoms may seem mild, but they should not go unnoticed. If you are experiencing these symptoms regularly, and not just when your feet fall asleep, take notice of the frequency and duration of your symptoms to share with your doctor.

The potential causes of numb feet

Your symptoms could indicate a wide variety of issues pertaining to lack of blood flow, nerve damage to the area, infection, or disease. There is a variety of causes for numb feet:

Pressure on the nerves. When your nerves are experiencing too much pressure, they can become numb or emanate a pins-and-needles sensation. This pressure can come from sources such as, wearing shoes that are too tight, foot and ankle injuries, and frequent muscle spasms. The underlying cause of increased nerve pressure is usually treatable and rarely causes permanent damage.

Herniated disc in lower back. When the discs in your vertebrae slip out of place they can pinch the nerves that lead down into your lower extremities. The pinched nerve causes tingling, pain, and weakness in the feet and legs. Physical therapy, exercise, and surgery may all be recommended to treat your herniated disc depending on its’ severity.

Peripheral artery disease. This disease occurs when plaque builds up in arteries. The plaque begins to harden and clog up the arteries, resulting in decreased blood flow and oxygen to your feet. Peripheral artery disease can cause numbness in both feet as well as increase your risk of infection. When your heart works overtime to pump blood to your feet’s clogged arteries, you run an increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. This condition results from high blood sugar spikes that injure your nerves and affects your feet and legs, followed by your hands and arms. You will experience numbness and tingling, loss of coordination, loss of reflexes, and sometimes ulcers, infections, and wounds may form. Proper dieting and medication regimens can treat your symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

If you are experiencing numb or tingling feet on a regular basis, contact the professionals at Kansas City Foot Specialists to set up a consultation. We can help diagnose and treat your symptoms to ensure you’re back on your feet in no time!