Are your legs feeling numb? Don’t worry; it’s a pretty common thing in everyday life. Usually, this happens when you stand for too long or have a poor posture. The good news is that in most cases, the numbness is temporary, and you can relieve it by changing your posture or doing some simple stretches.
However, there are times when the leg numbness lasts longer or keeps coming back, and it becomes quite severe. In such situations, it might be a sign of a specific disease. Some people might think it’s related to a spinal disc issue, but leg numbness can happen even without that.
Today, let’s explore the representative diseases that can cause leg numbness.
<5 common leg numbness diseases>
Leg numbness can be caused by various factors, and the five most common causes are:
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): This condition leads to discomfort in the legs, such as numbness, tingling, and electrical stimulations, usually occurring at night or during rest, which creates a need to move the legs.
- Herniated Intervertebral Disc (Herniated Disc): When the soft cushion-like disc between the spinal bones is damaged, it can put pressure on the nerves and cause leg numbness.
- Spinal Stenosis: This condition is often related to aging and results in the narrowing of the spinal canal, causing compression of the nerves, leading to leg numbness.
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD): PAD can be dangerous and is associated with reduced blood flow to the legs, causing numbness and other symptoms.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes may experience leg numbness due to peripheral diabetic neuropathy, which involves symptoms similar to RLS.
- It’s essential to differentiate between these causes accurately to ensure proper treatment and improve health outcomes for individuals with these conditions
<Leg numbness symptoms by disease>
1. Restless legs syndrome
If you have restless legs, which means you feel uncomfortable sensations before falling asleep, you might experience symptoms of leg numbness. These symptoms can include sensations like trembling, leg pulling, aching, and squeezing pain. They tend to be worse at night than during the day and can disrupt your sleep
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, often due to uncomfortable sensations like crawling, creeping, pulling, throbbing, and itching. This feeling typically occurs when you’re resting, sitting, or lying down. Moving your legs temporarily eases this unpleasant sensation. RLS can start at any age and tends to worsen as you get older. It may interfere with sleep and daily activities
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical attention, as RLS can affect your sleep, cause daytime drowsiness, and impact your overall quality of life. There are self-care steps, lifestyle changes, and medications that can help relieve RLS symptoms and improve your well-being
2. Herniated disc
If you have a herniated disc caused by poor posture, wearing high-heeled shoes, or using your back incorrectly, the disc presses on the nerves and causes numbness in your legs. The symptoms of leg numbness are characterized by a pulling pain that extends from your lower back to your buttocks, thighs, legs, and feet.
3. Spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition where degenerative arthritis progresses due to aging, leading to the narrowing of the spinal canal through which spinal nerves pass and putting pressure on the nerves. Symptoms include numbness and tingling in the legs, as well as squeezing pain. Unlike a herniated disc, bending the back can help relieve the pain
4. Peripheral arterial disease
Peripheral arterial disease is a condition where the arteries that carry blood can become narrow or blocked due to substances like cholesterol. It’s important to pay attention to this disease because if left untreated, it can lead to the amputation of a leg. Symptoms like numbness, tingling, pain while walking, and loss of strength can occur when there’s a problem with the blood vessels.
You can easily find out if you have this condition through a simple test. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, are a smoker, or are obese, it’s a good idea to get tested early as it can help in getting better with early treatment.
When your blood sugar is high, it can damage the thin nerve fibers at the end of your blood vessels, especially in your feet. This can lead to numbness, mainly in your legs and feet.
If you notice that your symptoms are getting worse and they persist for a long time, it’s important to find out exactly what is causing them. There are several reasons why you may experience numbness in one leg, so when it gets worse, you should figure out the specific cause so that it can be treated early.
These symptoms require special attention because they have the potential to cause paralysis or serious damage to your legs.