When the legs feel numbness, a person has a natural feeling of anxiety and anxiety for his health. Fears are not justified if a short-term violation of sensitivity appeared after prolonged compression of the lower extremities. A dangerous symptom is the regular numbness of the legs. In addition to circulatory disorders, the cause may be a violation of innervation. This is a consequence of damage to the nerve trunks. The treatment of the symptom depends on the etiology, the nature of which can only be determined by a doctor.numbness in leg

Physiological numbness

Feeling when the legs go numb is familiar to every person. It can appear as a reaction to a violation of the innervation or blood circulation of one or both lower limbs.

If you sit for a long time, pressing your leg under the buttocks, or for a long time in an uncomfortable position, a person ceases to feel the leg, which was under pressure. This condition quickly passes and is accompanied by an unpleasant sensation of “creeping goosebumps” on the skin.

A similar sensation can occur with a sharp change in air temperature. When your feet freeze in the cold, your feet go numb in a warm room. As the skin warms up, the symptom disappears, accompanied by a burning and tingling sensation.

Numbness of the lower extremities may be associated with wearing tight shoes. To eliminate discomfort, it is important to choose shoes in accordance with the size and fullness of the legs. For some patients, wearing orthopedic insoles may be necessary. In any of these cases, special treatment is not required. The condition is considered the body’s response to a physiological disturbance and is the norm.numbness in leg

Pathological causes

Numbness of the legs, accompanied by weakness in the lower extremities, partial or complete loss of motor function, can be a symptom of a developing disease. To prevent serious consequences, it is important to find out what caused the violation of sensitivity.

There are 2 root causes of numbness:

  1. Inflammation, damage, compression effects on the nerves and their endings.
  2. Circulatory disturbance in the legs during compression or damage to blood vessels.


In the first case, neurological factors cause numbness:

  • intervertebral hernia in the lumbosacral spine – pressure on the nerves is exerted by a herniated protrusion formed by the pulpous nucleus of the intervertebral disc;
  • spondylolisthesis – displacement (sliding) of the vertebra in relation to the underlying segment can lead to compression of the spinal cord and impaired sensitivity in the lower extremities;
  • lumbar osteochondrosis – nerve damage is associated with deformation of the vertebrae and the appearance of osteophytes (growths);
  • neuritis – inflammation of nerve tissues;
  • radiculopathy (radicular syndrome) – nerve damage during destructive lesions of bone or cartilage of the spine, may be accompanied by inflammation of the spinal roots;
  • polyneuropathy – multiple lesions of the peripheral nerves;
  • spinal stenosis – a significant narrowing of the canal where the spinal cord passes, can lead to the appearance of neurological symptoms due to compression of the spinal cord;
  • acute infectious pathologies can worsen the condition of peripheral nerves;
  • ponytail syndrome – damage to a massive bundle of nerves that innervates the lower extremities;
  • sciatica – pinched sciatic nerve.

The legs go numb after trauma to the lower extremities, but most often with damage to the lower part of the spine. Severe bruises, compression fractures, subluxations of the vertebrae can lead to temporary numbness of the legs. Violation of the integrity of the vertebrae in conjunction with the spinal cord – to a complete loss of sensitivity.

No less common factors affecting the sensitivity of the legs are vascular diseases:

  1. Varicose veins – weakening of the walls of the veins, dysfunction of the internal valves, leading to a violation of the microcirculation of blood.
  2. Thrombophlebitis – the formation of a thrombus, which reduces blood flow by blocking the lumen of the vessel, in combination with inflammation of the vascular wall.
  3. Coronary heart disease – circulatory disorders due to damage to the coronary vessels.
  4. Stroke is an acute violation of cerebral circulation.
  5. Atherosclerosis is the formation of cholesterol formations (plaques) on the walls of blood vessels.
  6. Raynaud’s disease is a vasospastic disease characterized by lesions of small capillaries in the feet.
  7. Diabetic foot – in patients with diabetes mellitus, a complex of anatomical and physiological changes in the feet develops, which includes neuropathy, macroangiopathy, which are manifested by a complete loss of sensitivity in the distal parts of the lower extremities.
  8. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune pathology in which the myelin sheath of the brain and spinal cord are destroyed.

Rapidly growing oncological neoplasms can compress the nerve roots or reduce the lumen of blood vessels.

numbness in leg

If the leg becomes numb:

  • over the entire surface of the thigh, lower leg and foot – this is a pinched sciatic nerve or hernia of the spine, in the presence of a hernial formation, numbness can spread to the lower back;
  • from the knee to the lower leg to the foot – you should seek the advice of a phlebologist, possibly vascular damage (varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, atherosclerosis);
  • from the buttock to the knee joint – with injuries of the spine, synovitis of the hip joint;
  • numbness of the heel or phalanx of the fingers – if atherosclerosis, diabetic neuropathy, Raynaud’s syndrome, lumbar osteochondrosis, with the growth of cancer cells;
  • one limb is numb – with pinching of the sciatic nerve, osteochondrosis, hernia of the spine.

The duration of numbness depends on the severity of the disease. If not only the lower limbs but also the inguinal region are numb, there are signs of paralysis, defecation and urination are disturbed, you can not hesitate to visit a doctor. The condition can threaten not only the health but also the life of the patient. Additionally, the following symptoms may occur:

  • feeling of anxiety and causeless fear;
  • piercing pain in the lumbar region;
  • frequent urination;
  • hypertonicity of muscle tissue;
  • hyperemia and rashes;
  • soreness at the moment of touching the legs.


Symptoms of a serious illness that cause concern for the life of the patient are:

  • dizziness, loss of orientation in space;
  • fecal and urinary incontinence;
  • frequent shallow breathing;
  • deterioration or loss of vision;
  • complete lack of sensitivity and motor function of the lower extremities.


If you have these signs, you must immediately call an ambulance.numbness in leg



To make a correct diagnosis, it is important to conduct an initial assessment of the condition. The examination begins with a survey of the patient about his complaints, the frequency of numbness and associated symptoms, in which situations the unpleasant symptom intensifies, and when the intensity decreases.

The specialist conducts a physical examination of the affected area – the state of muscle tissue is assessed, trigger (pain) points are detected, and skin and tendon reflexes are checked. If the legs go numb against a background of back pain, examines the spine for deformity.

To make a conclusion about the condition of the patient, it is important to conduct a hardware study. To do this, use the following methods:

  • radiography – shows deformation of bone tissue, a violation of its integrity during injuries, formation during deposition of calcium salts;
  • computed tomography – allows you to assess the condition of the spinal cord, ligaments, tendons, cartilage;
  • magnetic resonance imaging is the most informative diagnostic method, allows you to identify the initial pathological changes;
  • electroneuromyography of the lower extremities – is performed to detect disorders of the nervous and muscle tissue;
  • Ultrasound – to assess the state of blood vessels on the legs, allows you to detect cysts, tumor-like growths;
  • laboratory tests of blood and urine (general analysis, biochemistry).


After receiving the results of all analyzes, the final diagnosis is established and the optimal treatment regimen is selected.

numbness in leg

Treatment of numbness in leg

Therapeutic measures for numbness of the legs are aimed at eliminating the causes of its appearance. For this, adjustments to the treatment are made by a cardiologist, infectious disease specialist, neuropathologist, phlebologist, and other specialists. General therapy includes medication, physiotherapy, massage, and physiotherapy.

In the framework of drug treatment prescribed:

  1. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for the elimination of inflammatory processes and pain – Diclofenac, Movalis, Ketoprofen.
  2. Analgesics are prescribed for the relief of pain – Nimesulide, Baralgin.
  3. Antispasmodics for vasospasm – No-Shpa, Papaverin, Drotaverin.
  4. Muscle relaxants to normalize muscle tone in the legs – Sirdalud, Midokalm.
  5. Vitamins of group B for increasing the quality of innervation – Milgamma, Neuromultivit.
  6. Chondroprotectors to stop the destruction of cartilage – Arthra, Teraflex.


In the absence of contraindications, massage is prescribed to improve blood circulation in the affected areas. For the same purpose, physiotherapeutic procedures are carried out:

  • magnetotherapy;
  • electrophoresis with drugs;
  • ultrasonic wave treatment;
  • laser therapy;
  • radon, mud baths.


With hernia and osteochondrosis, it is recommended to wear an orthopedic corset if varicose veins or thrombosis is detected – compression underwear. To improve tissue nutrition and stimulate blood circulation, a set of therapeutic exercises is selected. It should be performed regularly, first under the supervision of an instructor, then independently at home.



If the legs go numb, doctors give a positive prognosis when timely seeking medical help. To prevent numbness of the lower extremities, it is important to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • eat properly and balanced;
  • refuse to use salt and sugar in large quantities;
  • lead an active lifestyle, perform feasible physical exercises;
  • to correct the deformation of the feet with flat feet with orthopedic insoles;
  • wear a corset when curving the spine;
  • conduct routine treatment in the presence of systemic chronic diseases.


If there are signs of sensory impairment in the legs, you can’t hesitate to visit a doctor. Early diagnosis allows the timely initiation of competent therapy and eliminates numbness from the patient’s life.numbness in leg

Categories: pain

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