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Numbness and Pins and Needles in the Feet

We’ve all had it before. That sudden numbness followed by the ultra sensitive tingling pins and needles feeling, making you want to do anything but move your leg or foot. This pins and needles sensation often occurs when placing pressure on certain parts of your body and most commonly in the legs and feet, like when wearing tight shoes or sitting on your foot, even standing! There are cases, though, when pins and needles may be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Read on to learn about the causes of pins and needles and when you should consult a podiatrist.

Though very common, pins and needles tends to occur more commonly in people who use vibrating tools, people with back pain, and/or diabetics. Symptoms include an initial numbness or heaviness of the leg or foot, followed by a prickling sensation on the skin that lasts for several minutes. Occasional occurrences can be caused directly by activities such as drinking alcohol or beginning a new medication, or conditions like vitamin B12 deficiency or diabetes, in which you should be wary of your diet and/or medication. When pins and needles happens here and there for just a few minutes, especially after these common activities and conditions, there is nothing to be concerned about. If numbness becomes extreme or the pins and needles sensation in the legs and feet becomes very frequent, then you should consult a podiatrist to determine a diagnosis.

Chronic pins and needles occurrences could be a symptom of a condition that damages the sensory nerves or when experiencing a pinched nerve (examples include cervical nerve root irritation and carpal tunnel syndrome, which results in a trapped nerve). In conditions like these, very common pins and needles may be treated with splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, and rest. In other cases, treatment may include physiotherapy or surgery in order to restore the nerve function. Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach and can lead you to the best solution for your podiatry needs.

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