After sitting down for a long time with legs in a crossed position, perhaps many of you have already experienced that tingling feet or “pins and needles” sensation. I have experienced it for countless of times already. As I delved more into this occurrence, I learned that the medical term for it is paresthesia, a common condition that normally goes on its own after several minutes or once the pressure in the legs is relieved. However, I was alarmed that in some instances, paresthesia may also be a sign of a more serious condition that needs medical attention. It is not like a case of ordinary sprained foot or other foot condition where you can almost always assume that it is what you think it is.
Since paresthesia is very common, it would be good to check out what this kind of condition might tell you about your health.
Paresthesia is oftentimes caused by putting too much pressure on the nerves which can happen when you sit on your feet or cross your legs for a long time. The sensation is normally mild and temporary and does not need treatment.
Serious Causes of Paresthesia
If paresthesia is just temporary and you know what causes it, there should be no reason to worry. However, if you have persisting paresthesia and you have no idea what is causing it, you should consider visiting a podiatrist because you could already be suffering from a more serious condition which may be one or more of the following:
- Nerve dysfunction
- Peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage
- Nerve entrapment
- Systemic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or hypothyroidism
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Poor blood circulation
- Injury or trauma to the nerve
- Hormone imbalance
- Infection such as shingles
- Stroke or seizure
- Autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Ruptured disc
- Others such as side effects of medication, alcoholism and toxic exposure
More often, serious cases of paresthesia are also accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, itchiness, muscle spasms, numbness, dizziness, changes in vision, walking difficulty, weakness, loss of consciousness, confusion, rashes, and loss of bladder or bowel control. In case any of these symptoms comes with paresthesia, your condition should be taken more seriously and be checked by a podiatrist.
Treatment for Paresthesia
Treatment for serious cases of paresthesia generally depends on its underlying cause which must first be correctly identified by your doctor. Once the underlying condition is determined and treated, the tingling sensation will normally just go away with it. For instance, if it is caused by diabetes, the tingling sensation will normally lessen once you are able to manage your sugar level. For ordinary paresthesia, there is no treatment for it but can easily be prevented by finding a more comfortable sitting position that will not put much pressure on your feet.
Most people would experience a tingling sensation in their feet at any point in their life and it may occur more than just once. It is important that you know what a feet tingling sensation is telling you as it may either be an ordinary occurrence or a condition that requires immediate medical attention.