Limb numbness – causes, treatment and prevention (Paresthesia and Neuropathy)

Limb numbness - causes, treatment and prevention (Paresthesia and Neuropathy)

Numbness in the lower legs can be accompanied by additional symptoms including discomfort, burning, and trouble walking, and the causes might range from mechanical to metabolic to inflammatory. Learn about the 10 probable reasons of numbness in the lower legs, how to cure it, and more in the sections below.

Lower leg numbness symptoms

Loss of feeling or tingling in the lower extremities characterizes lower leg numbness. This ailment is most likely caused by a variety of nerve-related issues.

Even so, it might be caused by anything as simple as bad posture or prolonged sitting in a confined position.

Lower leg numbness is often accompanied by other symptoms.

  • Lower leg numbness is often accompanied by the following symptoms:
  • With some motions or postures, pain may shoot up or down the leg.
  • Burning
  • The sensation of being on pins and needles
  • Sensitivity to touch can be increased or diminished.
  • Walking is difficult.
  • Legs, ankles, and feet weakness

Lower limb numbness in one or both legs is a severe worry since it frequently indicates an underlying condition that needs medical treatment. If you’re suffering any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment with your doctor.

Numbness in the lower legs can be caused by a variety of factors.

Numbness in the lower leg develops when the nerves of the lower extremities are injured or disrupted. A single nerve or a group of nerves can be injured, and the causes are numerous.

The sciatic nerve and its branches, such as the common peroneal nerve and the tibial nerve, are the primary nerves of the legs that are most commonly afflicted and cause numbness. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back and branches all the way down the back of the leg to the toes.


Causes that are mechanical

A mechanical cause of numbness might be any procedure that produces physical injury or disturbance to the nerves in the lower legs.

Compression of a nerve or numerous nerves in the lower leg can be caused by a variety of factors, including compressive clothes, leg postures (such as crossing the legs), and tumors that develop directly on or into the nerve or neurons. The spinal cord can be injured when the vertebrae or discs in the back get damaged.

Trauma: Traumatic injuries to the lower leg that result in bone fractures or injury to the muscles surrounding the nerves can cause direct damage to the nerves, resulting in numbness.

Causes that are metabolic/systemic

There are a variety of systemic, metabolic disorders that might cause harm to the body’s nerves. These diseases disturb correct sensory function by altering the way the nerve transmits and receives messages from the brain and spinal cord, resulting in neuropathy.

  • Systemic: Dysfunction in the systemic processes that your body employs on a daily basis, such as glucose and insulin dysregulation in diabetes, can damage numerous nerves in the body, resulting in numbness that can affect not just the lower limbs but also other body parts like the fingers.
  • Heavy metals, such as lead, and drugs, such as alcohol, are toxins that induce nerve harm. Too much of either can cause nerve injury, resulting in numbness in the lower leg.

Causes of inflammation

The following are examples of inflammatory causes of lower leg numbness.

  • Autoimmune illnesses: Many inflammatory diseases that cause the body to attack itself can impact the nerves, causing injury and numbness. Autoimmune illnesses include conditions such as multiple sclerosis and lupus.
  • Infections: Bacterial infections can induce Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which can include numbness as well as paralysis (usually bilateral).

Multiple viral infections, such as shingles, can induce inflammation and nerve damage, resulting in numbness in the lower leg. Large abscesses in the spine can result from some infections, causing nerve compression in the lower leg.

The central nervous system is to blame for

Lower leg numbness can be caused by problems with the central nervous system.

Lower leg numbness can be caused by brain or spinal cord processes, however these diseases are generally accompanied by significant symptoms such as loss of bladder control or consciousness.

A vascular damage in the brain or a major injury in the spinal cord that might induce paralysis are the most common causes of leg numbness in the brain or spinal cord.
Numbness and other symptoms in the lower legs can be caused by a variety of nerve system diseases that people are born with, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.

In the lower back, a herniated (slipped) disc

The backbone, also known as the spine, is comprised of 26 bones known as vertebrae. Soft discs filled with a jelly-like fluid are sandwiched between the bones. The vertebrae are cushioned and held in place by these discs. Nothing truly slides out of position, despite what people say about a slipped disc. The disk’s outer shell ruptures, allowing the jelly-like material to protrude out. It might be pushing on a nerve, which would result in discomfort. A slipped disc is more likely to occur as a result of back strain, such as during heavy lifting, and older people are more susceptible.

  • Common Rarity
  • Lower back discomfort, moderate back pain, back pain that travels down the leg, back pain that worsens when sitting, leg weakness are the most common symptoms.
  • Primary care physician is needed immediately.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (rls)

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a persistent illness marked by unpleasant leg sensations and a strong desire to move the legs while lying down.

Leg movement briefly alleviate the uncomfortable sensations, however it typically leads to poor sleep quality. RLS is a group of people that work together to make a better world.

Vertebral osteomyelitis is a kind of osteomyelitis that affects the spine.

Vertebral osteomyelitis (also known as spinal osteomyelitis) is an infection of the spine’s bones. It mainly affects the lumbar, or lower, back and can be acute or chronic in nature.

Bacteria, most often Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other forms of fungus, cause the infection. These agents can migrate to the bones of the spine through the circulation from an infected lesion elsewhere in the body.

Those with compromised immune systems, poor circulation, recent injury, or who are receiving hemodialysis are the most vulnerable. The most frequent kind of osteomyelitis in adults is osteomyelitis of the spine, however children can also be afflicted.

Swelling, redness, and discomfort at the infection site, as well as fever, chills, and weariness, are all symptoms.

If these symptoms are not addressed, spinal osteomyelitis might proceed to abscess and create severe difficulties.

Blood tests, imaging of the spine, and sometimes biopsy are used to make a diagnosis.

Several weeks of intravenous antibiotic or antifungal therapy, which can be administered as an outpatient procedure, are required for treatment.

Rarity: Very rare.

Upper back discomfort, sudden neck or back pain, fever, foot numbness, upper leg numbness are the most common symptoms.

Hospital emergency room is in a state of emergency.

Injury to the fibular nerve

The peroneal nerves are another name for the fibular nerves. Fibular nerves originate in the lower spine and go down the back of the leg to the heel.

Foot drop is a disorder that occurs when the fibular nerves are injured or squeezed.

Surgery, particularly hip replacement or complete knee replacement, any injury to the knee or low back, or neurologic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease can all cause damage to the fibular nerves.

Because the fibular nerves that govern this voluntary movement have been destroyed, the person is unable to bend the foot upward from the ankle. Pain, numbness, and weakness in the foot, as well as trouble walking, are all possible symptoms.
Physical examination, nerve conduction investigations, and imaging, such as x-ray or MRI, are used to make the diagnosis.

Orthotics, which are specially manufactured shoes, supports, and braces for the feet; physical therapy; and, in certain cases, surgery to decompress or otherwise aid heal the nerve are also used in treatment.

Uncommon rarity

Top symptoms include discomfort in the fibular nerve distribution, numbness in the fibular nerve distribution, trouble walking, and foot dorsiflexion weakness.

Wait and see whether there is any urgency.

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition caused by diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes mellitus that has been uncontrolled for a long time (DM). Obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease, and excessive cholesterol levels are all risk factors for diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy can manifest itself in a variety of ways.

Is it a stroke or a tia? (transient ischemic attack)

The term “mini stroke” or “warning stroke” is used to describe a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. A clot has stopped blood flow somewhere in the brain, resulting in a stroke.

Smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are all risk factors, but anybody can have a TIA.

Because the clot dissolves or moves on its own, symptoms are “transient,” meaning they come and go within minutes. Stroke symptoms include facial and/or body weakness, numbness, and paralysis on one side; slurred speech; altered vision; and a sudden, intense headache.

Because a TIA is brief, it has no long-term consequences. The patient must, however, seek care because a TIA is a sign that a more serious stroke is on the way. Call 9-1-1 or take the patient to the nearest emergency room.

The patient’s medical history, physical examination, CT scan or MRI, and EKG are all used to make a diagnosis.

To avoid additional clots, anticoagulant medicine is used. It may also be necessary to have surgery to clear parts of the arteries.

  • Common Rarity
  • Dizziness, leg numbness, arm numbness, new headache, stiff neck are the most common symptoms.
  • Bilateral weakness is a symptom that never occurs with a stroke or a TIA (transient ischemic attack).
  • Medical assistance is required immediately.

Idiopathic chronic peripheral neuropathy

Numbness, tingling, and pins-and-needles sensations in the foot are symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. The term idiopathic refers to an illness for which the Aetiology is unknown, while chronic refers to a condition that persists without improving or worsening.

People over the age of 60 are more likely to get the illness. There is no recognized Aetiology for idiopathic neuropathy.

Numbness and tingling in the feet; trouble standing or walking owing to discomfort and lack of normal sensibility; and weakening and cramping in the muscles of the feet and ankles are some of the symptoms.

Peripheral neuropathy can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life, therefore it’s important to consult a doctor to treat the symptoms and alleviate the pain.

Physical examination, blood tests to rule out other illnesses, and neurologic and muscle testing such as electromyography are used to make a diagnosis.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription pain relievers for more severe pain, physical therapy and safety measures to compensate for loss of feeling in the feet, and therapeutic footwear to aid balance and walking are all used in treatment.

  • Rarity: Very rare.
  • Distal numbness, muscular pains, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of the body, and loss of muscle mass are the most common symptoms.
  • Primary care physician is needed immediately.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that affects the (pad)

PAD, intermittent claudication, and vascular disease are all terms for peripheral artery disease. The aorta is the heart’s major artery, while the peripheral arteries are its lesser branches.

Plaque, which is material that builds up in the lining of these arteries and eventually shuts off blood flow, causes PAD to obstruct these peripheral arteries.

Smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes are all risk factors for PAD.

PAD mainly affects the arteries in the legs, although it can affect any artery. Numbness and soreness in the legs are common symptoms, especially during activity when more circulation is required but the flow is impeded.

It’s critical to get treatment for these signs and symptoms. PAD increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, infection, and gangrene, which is a life-threatening medical emergency.

A patient’s medical history, physical examination, blood tests, and, in some cases, a treadmill test, MRI, and arteriogram are used to make a diagnosis.

Medication and surgery to unblock or bypass clogged arteries, as well as dietary, exercise, and smoking cessation adjustments, are all part of the treatment.

  • Common Rarity
  • Leg numbness, sudden foot pain, poor exercise tolerance, chilly feet, and thigh discomfort are the most common symptoms.
  • Calf pain following an accident, thigh pain from an injury are symptoms that never occur with peripheral arterial disease (pad).
  • Primary care physician is needed immediately.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects people 

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a central nervous system disease. Nerve fibers and their myelin sheath are attacked by the body’s immune system. This results in permanent scarring known as “sclerosis,” which obstructs signal transmission between the brain and the body.

The reason behind this is unknown. It’s possible that it’s linked to a hereditary tendency. Women are significantly more likely than males to get the condition between the ages of 20 and 50. Family history, viral infections such as Epstein-Barr, having other autoimmune illnesses, and smoking are also risk factors.

Numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, or body; partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes; tingling or shock-like sensations, particularly in the neck; tremor; and lack of coordination are some of the symptoms.

A patient’s medical history, neurological examination, blood tests, MRI, and, in rare cases, a spinal tap are used to make a diagnosis.

Although there is no cure for MS, corticosteroids and plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) can help to decrease the disease’s progression and control symptoms for a better quality of life.

  • Rarity: Very rare.
  • Severe weariness, constipation, numbness, diminished sex desire, and evidence of optic neuritis are the most common symptoms.
  • Primary care physician is needed immediately.

Treatments and relief for lower leg numbness

Numbness in the lower legs can be treated at home. If your symptoms increase or continue, or if you have widespread numbness, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Lower leg numbness treatment and prevention options at homeSimple lifestyle modifications can help to prevent transitory sensations of numbness.

  • Avoid repeated actions and tight postures, which can place undue strain on your nerves.
  • Toxic exposures, such as alcohol, should be avoided. You should also look for chemicals like lead in your home and workplace.
  • Lifting techniques should be used with caution while lifting big things, and appropriate form should always be used when training, especially when lifting heavy weights.

When should you consult a doctor about numbness in your lower legs?

However, if you have frequent, chronic episodes of numbness, you should see your doctor to seek proper treatment. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following therapies, depending on the cause:

  • Anticonvulsants, such as Gabapentin, are anticonvulsant drugs that are also used to treat nerve pain.
  • Discomfort medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, may be prescribed by your doctor to aid with leg numbness pain.
  • Injections of corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation and discomfort, but they can also cause adverse effects including joint infection and nerve damage, which you should discuss with your healthcare professional before starting.
  • Surgery: If alternative therapies have failed and your symptoms have progressed or worsened, your doctor may suggest that you consider surgical options to alleviate your problems.

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