What Causes Legs To Go Numb?

Imagine yourself by the fire on a Sunday evening, reading an interesting suspense thriller while curled up in your favorite chair, one leg tucked under you. You lose track of time as you fall under the spell of the book.

Later, you realize that you have been sitting in that same position for a couple of hours. You try to unfold and stretch out your legs, but you cannot move them without feeling like there are thousands of pins and needles stuck into them. Slowly, you try to get up but you can’t feel a thing in your legs. It seems as though they have gone to sleep. You stomp your feet in an attempt to shake of that kind of feeling in your legs, but it won’t go away. Since you can’t do anything more about it, you sit and wait until all the feeling finally comes back again after several minutes.

This condition is what is commonly referred to as having numb legs. It is a condition wherein the blood circulation has been temporarily diminished due to an external pressure on the blood vessels of the legs. Since the blood circulation to the legs is lowered, blood supply to the nerves of the legs is also cut-off, causing an ischemic condition to the legs. This causes the temporary numbness that is felt, and is really nothing to worry about. If the numbness persists though, then there might be other serious causes for it.

Numbness is an abnormal sensation that is usually felt in the limbs and extremities. It is abnormal because it signifies that a nerve or set of nerves have been affected, either temporarily or permanently, mildly or severely. It may be the result of several situations like being in the same position for an extended period of time, impeding the flow of blood to the area through direct pressure on the blood vessel or a plaque build-up in the blood vessels. When a nerve is damaged, numbness can be felt in the area it supplies, like an injury to your neck will cause a numbing sensation in your arms and hands.

A deficiency in vitamin B12 and irregular levels of electrolytes like calcium, potassium and sodium in the body can also cause numbness in the legs. Diseases like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Multiple Sclerosis, seizures and migraine headaches also have leg numbness as one of their symptoms. Sometimes, feeling numbness in the legs can also be a sign that a transient ischemic attack — commonly known as a stroke — is under way.

If you are experiencing this symptom, it is highly suggested that the cause of it be identified in order to start its treatment. It may just be a common occurrence for you, but sometimes, it is also your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong and you must seek medical help immediately. If medical professionals find out that nothing is wrong, then good. But if there is a problem, at least you discovered it early, before it gets any worse.

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