What Leg Pain and Numbness Might Mean


January 11, 2022

You’re likely here because you’ve noticed that your legs, and/or feet, are sleeping more than you are. It could be that you’ve simply been sitting in certain positions for too long. 

Nonetheless, if you’re experiencing this sensation more often than not, or with great intensity, it may signalize a more acute condition. There are many conditions that may trigger symptoms of tingling, numbness, or a burning sensation in your legs and feet. Some main ailments include:

What Can Trigger Leg Pain and Numbness?

You can feel tingling and numbness in your feet and legs by simply sitting with your legs crossed for too long. And oftentimes, your legs can go numb due to your posture, too. Southeast Pain & Spine Care has put together a more in-depth understanding of the conditions associated with foot and leg numbness:

  1. Posture

Bad posture habits can reduce the flow of blood in your lower limbs, as well as placing pressure on your nerves, which can cause temporary numbness (transient paresthesia) in the legs and feet. 

Habits that can trigger this include:

  • Sitting on your feet
  • Crossing your legs for too long
  • Kneeling or sitting for long periods
  • Wearing tight-fitting socks, pants, or shoes
  1. Injury

Pressure on your nerves from an injury can cause your feet and legs to experience numbness. This includes injuries to your:

  • Hips
  • Feet
  • Legs
  • Torso 
  • Spine 
  • Ankles 
  1. Diabetes

Some diabetic people develop diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage. Neuropathy may cause pain, tingling, and numbness in your feet and legs, depending on severity.

  1. Lower Back Problems and Sciatica

A herniation or breakdown of spinal discs may initiate compression of the nerves in your legs, which leads to back pain, nerve problems and numbness.

The nerve that goes from your lower back to your legs is known as your sciatic nerve. Sciatica is the name for this disorder, in which the nerve becomes compressed or irritated, triggering tingling or numbness in your feet or legs.

  1. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome arises when a nerve, along the inside of your ankle, that runs down the rear of your leg and into your foot is squeezed, compressed, or damaged.

Your tarsal tunnel is on the inside of your ankle and is narrowed in space. People with this condition complain of shooting pain, burning, numbness, and tingling in your ankles, feet, and heels.

  1. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) induces the peripheral blood arteries in your stomach, arms, and legs to narrow, which reduces blood flow and the quantity of blood pumped. 

You can experience cramping pains in your hips and legs when climbing the stairs and walking. Some also experience leg numbness and weakness, and usually go away within minutes of resting.

  1. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting, chronic condition that causes widespread body aches, pain, and tenderness. Fibromyalgia can also cause tingling and numbness in your hands and feet.

Symptoms include:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Fibro Fog and difficulty staying focused and making decisions
  • Unexplained soreness and stiffness, especially upon waking up
  • Sensations of pins and needles, mainly in hands, arms, legs, and feet

Fibromyalgia sufferers experience widespread symptoms for at least 3 months at a time. If numbness in the legs and feet is your only symptom or is a short-term discomfort, it is likely not related to fibromyalgia.

  1. Multiple Sclerosis

Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) may encounter sensory nerve damage that causes numbness in an entire limb, or just on a small area of your body. Although MS-related numbness generally lasts for only a short time, it can linger for longer periods.


Treatment for pain and numbness in your feet and legs depends on the cause of the symptoms. 


Some options for people suffering from long-term numbness in their feet and legs include:

  • Antidepressants – such as duloxetine and milnacipran – have been approved for fibromyalgia treatment.
  • Corticosteroids – Certain corticosteroids are able to reduce inflammation and numbness related to conditions like MS.
  • Gabapentin/Pregabalin – These medications work to change or block nerve signals that may help reduce numbness related to MS, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy.
  • Oral / Topical Pain Relief Pain creams and medications like acetaminophen can also relieve pain and discomfort linked to neuropathy.

Home Remedies

Home remedies that may help relieve uncomfortable numbness in the legs and feet include:

  • Ice
  • Heat
  • Rest
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Epsom salt baths
  • Supportive devices
  • A healthy, balanced diet
  • Alcohol reduction or avoidance
  • Mental techniques and stress reduction. 

When Should You See A Doctor?

Speak with your doctor if you have numbness in your legs and feet that:

  • Lingers for long periods of time
  • Is coupled with other chronic symptoms
  • Is not related to your posture or lifestyle habits, for instance, tight shoes and clothing
  • Is coupled with long-term or permanent modifications in the shape, color, or temperature of your feet and legs.

If you experience unexplained numbness, with persistent, immobilizing, pain, along with other chronic symptoms, see your doctor for treatment and diagnosis.


At SEPSC we strive to put a smile on our patient’s faces. Let us help you with your journey of living a more pain free life, so that we can see you smile too. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

During your consultation at Southeast Pain and Spine Care, ask about our overall approach to pain management and how we can use our four-pronged approach to create a personal treatment plan for you. In the meantime, take a look at our blog right here for more helpful articles.

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