Is the numbness and tingling in your legs and feet bothering when you sit for a long time? Or maybe you get the numbness and tingling when you stand after awhile? Maybe it’s affecting your sleep? Regardless, it’s distracting you at work and home, and preventing you from doing what you enjoy. It’s draining your energy. Read on to find out what could be causing it.
Numbness and tingling in the legs and feet is a very common complaint I receive from my patients. The two most common causes I have observed is due to a pinched nerve in the low back or buttock region.
The nerves in your leg and feet come from your brain and travel down your spinal cord. They exit your spine in the low back and weave in and out of muscles to make their way down to your toes. Any bone in the spine or soft tissue structure like a muscle can compress or pinch your nerve and cause numbness. Once you find out where the nerve is being pinched you can get the proper therapy to take the pressure off the nerve.
Chiropractors are specialists in diagnosing pinched nerves. I recommend you find one you’re comfortable working with so you can get the help you need. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help determine if the numbness and tingling in your legs and feet is caused by a pinched nerve.
Numbness and tingling in your legs and feet is likely coming from a pinched nerve in your low back if:
- When you been forward, backward, or to the left or right, and it causes the numbness/tingling.
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time causes the numbness/tingling.
- When you lie on your back and bring the affected STRAIGHT leg (don’t bend your knee) towards your stomach/torso it causes the numbness/tingling.
Numbness/tingling is likely coming from a tight muscle in your buttocks (piriformis) if:
- When you lie on your back and rotate your entire affected leg inward you get numbness/tingling.
- When you lie on your back and you bring your thigh towards your chest, rotate it inwards, and across to the other side you get numbness/tingling..
Chiropractors are nerve and muscle specialists. This means they have the skills necessary to determine if your numbness and tinging in your legs and feet is coming from a pinched nerve in the low back or from your piriformis muscle. Many Chiropractors often work with massage therapists as well, and can refer you to them to release the tension in your muscles. There are also chiropractors who specialize in muscle techniques like Active Release Technique or other muscle relaxation therapies.
What to do?
Get a thorough examination done by a chiropractor. This would involve tests which would provoke numbness/tingling and even muscle weakness. This helps determine where the nerve is pinched.
The examination would likely involve x-rays of your low back. X-rays can show if your discs (cushions) between your spinal bones are wearing out (degenerative disc disease) or if there is some arthritis. Wear and tear building up over decades can cause your discs to bulge, thin down, joints can wear out, and bone spurs can build up. If this happens, your nerves that come out of your low back and travel down your legs are more apt to get pinched.
In almost every case like this, there will be a loss of mobility and misalignments in the spinal bones of your neck. By properly correcting your spinal misalignments (adjustments), chiropractors can help take the pressure off your nerves.
Getting the muscle knots relaxed in conjunction with the chiropractic adjustments can further aid in recovery and healing process.
What else could the numbness and tingling in your legs and feet be caused by?
Numbness and tingling in legs and feet can also be due to other causes: Diabetes, problems in your blood vessels, multiple sclerosis (MS), vitamin B12 deficiency, and tumours all have to be ruled out with a thorough examination and history.
Most numbness and tingling in the legs and feet comes from a pinched nerve in the low back.
Chiropractic care is a safe and very effective therapy for this type of condition. Again, seek out a chiropractor you are comfortable with and get rid of that annoying numbness and tingling. Start sleeping well again and being more productive at work.