The Common Causes and Treatments of Leg Numbness

The Common Causes and Treatments of Leg Numbness

Leg numbness is often described as a lack of feeling or a tingling sensation in the legs. Some people say it feels like the leg has “fallen asleep,” especially when they sit in one spot for too long.

Studies say that 7.3% of the world’s population is likely to suffer from it at some point in their lives.

The feeling can either be mild or intense. In either case, it’s often a sign of an underlying health condition. One common question that arises is “What causes numbness in one leg?” This guide aims to shed light on the various factors that trigger it as well as effective tips on how to control it.

The Causes

Here are the leading causes of leg numbness:

Diabetic neuropathy

The Center for Disease Control tells us that diabetic patients whose blood sugar levels have remained spiked for a long time are likely to have nerve damage.

The nerve damage negatively affects the flow of blood and other nutrients to different parts of the body, including the legs. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of nerve damage that happens, and it’s quite common in people with type 2 diabetes.

Stroke

A stroke makes it difficult for a person’s brain to interpret and process nerve signals. According to a study from 2018 by Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, this is common in those between the ages of 75 and 85.

Regardless, stroke can happen to anyone, despite their age, and numbness is one of the primary symptoms associated with it.

Habitual Bad Posture

People who engage in bad postural habits such as slouching at a desk, hunching over a smartphone, or sitting with crossed legs for prolonged periods have a very high chance of experiencing leg numbness.

As a result of the improper posture, the spine becomes misaligned, thereby compressing the nerves in the lower back. If this habit is not checked in time, it can lead to a condition called lumbar radiculopathy, which will further escalate the leg numbness that they feel.

Spinal Injury

If you have been involved in an accident that left you a spinal cord injury, there’s a very high chance you’ll experience leg numbness frequently.

Your lower back will also feel uncomfortable due to the compression of nerves leading to the legs. This is also another trigger for leg numbness.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

PAD is a condition that occurs when your arteries get compressed and narrowed. Blood will no longer flow through them to your hands and legs as much as it used to. This not only causes leg numbness, but it can also make walking in general very painful.

If you’re diagnosed with PAD, your doctor will check for atherosclerosis, as both of them are always closely related. Atherosclerosis is a more severe condition that can spiral into a stroke or even a heart attack.

Tumors

If the tumor inside you is situated in a spot such that it compresses a nerve, you could experience frequent leg numbness. Sometimes, the tumor can be cancerous, and if this is the case, it can result in peripheral neuropathy. Be sure to check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of cancer.

The Treatment Options

Here are a few effective treatment options for managing leg numbness:

Medication

There’s a long list of medications that doctors can prescribe to gain relief from the pain. Seeing as there are different types of nerve damage, the drugs suitable for you will depend on your exact situation. Here is a list of some of the popular recommendations:

  • Pregabalin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Duloxetine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Gabapentin
  • Nortriptyline
Use of Compression socks

Some people call them neuropathy socks. They are designed to increase the flow of blood in the legs and feet. If the numbness is induced by any vein-related issue, the wearer will feel intense relief and less nerve discomfort.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a broad term that covers a wide range of activities. Some of these activities include:

  • Getting foot massages
  • Soaking your feet in Epsom salt baths
  • Elevating your affected legs as much as possible
  • Practicing how to walk with knee braces
  • Engaging in mild foot exercises

Wrapping Up

If you’re lucky, the constant numbness that you feel may not be due to any serious complications. The only way to rule out the possibility of serious harm is to book an appointment with the doctor and get properly diagnosed.

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