What causes your legs to tingle or fall asleep & how to get rid of numbness?

What is Paresthesia?

Have you ever felt like there are a thousand pins or needles pricking your foot, after sitting in an uncomfortable position for a couple of hours? In case you have, then like millions of other people around the world, you have been through paresthesia.

Though most people do not know what is Paresthesia, almost everybody has experienced such a condition. Paresthesia is one of the most common medical conditions, which has been experienced by all people at some time or the other. While experiencing this condition, you are likely to feel certain unpleasant sensations in your hands or legs, which include prickling, tingling, burning, itching or numbness. Some people also refer to it as the "leg falling asleep" feeling, while others say they feel like they are experiencing "pins and needles" in the legs. While paresthesia can be felt in other parts of the body, it usually affects the extremities, like the legs, hands, feet, fingers and toes. However, leg paresthesia is more common among people than the other forms. You are more likely to experience this leg numbness and tingling when you sit with your legs crossed, for a long time, or when you sleep with your arm bent in a particular position.

In is quite unlikely for paresthesia to arise because of a serious health problem. Nevertheless, repeated instances of this problem should not be left unchecked or untreated. Due to the fact that paresthesia is so common, most people just tend to ignore it. However, instances of chronic paresthesia or intermittent paresthesia should be checked, as it could be an indication or an underlying condition. This is all the more important, if the person experiences the sensation of the leg falling asleep at night repeatedly, or if the unpleasant feelings last for a long period of time.


In case you have wondered, what the causes of the odd sensations you experience could be, you are not the only one. Most people have no idea what the feeling is or why it occurs so often. It is very important for people to identify what the causes of paresthesia are, instead of leaving the problem unchecked.

There could be many different factors that could lead to paresthesia in a person. At times, you may feel like your legs are being poked by a thousand pins, because of sitting in one pose. When you move your legs around a bit, the feeling of being poked tends to abate. Hence, if the discomfort the temporary, then the leg numbness and tingling causes could include sitting in the same pose or an uncomfortable pose for a long period of time. This is not usually a major cause for concern in most people.

However, in case you suffer from chronic paresthesia, that is, if the unpleasant sensation occurs for a long period of time, or keeps recurring, then it is best for you to consult a doctor and go through a proper diagnosis, without any delay. This is because intermittent paresthesia could be the symptom of traumatic nerve damage or a neurological disorder. There are many factors that could lead to nerve damage, a few of which include inflammation, infections or trauma. Although it is rare, in some instances, paresthesia could be a symptom of a tumor or strokes. Therefore, it is best to make sure that you do not leave paresthesia unchecked.


It is a well-known fact that the most obvious leg paresthesia symptoms are burning, prickling, tingling, numbness and at times, itchiness in the legs and the feet. Most people claim that it feels that they are being poked by thousands of pins and needles on their legs and feet. While this sensation can occur at any time of the day, it is more common during the night, when you are sleeping. Most people claim that the symptoms of paresthesia are quite annoying or perhaps even uncomfortable, but rarely are they painful.

However, in some cases, people have experienced pain when suffering from paresthesia, though this is not a very common occurrence. The severity of the pain may depend on the part of the body, which is affected. There are a few other paresthesia symptoms too that may been seen in some cases, which could be quite severe. Given below are some of the more severe paresthesia symptoms, which require immediate medical attention:

  • Rash on the skin
  • Muscles spasm
  • Increase in the frequency of urination
  • Elevation in the sensitivity to touch
  • Mild, moderate or even severe pain, in some parts of the body
  • Difficulty in performing certain tasks, like walking for a few minutes
  • Anxiety

Some of the paresthesia symptoms could also be an indication of a life-threatening condition. Some of the most severe signs and symptoms that could indicate paresthesia include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Confusion for a brief period of time
  • Weakness
  • Changes in vision or even loss in some cases
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulties

Hence, if you are suffering from just the tingling feeling in your legs, it can be because of a minor problem; however, in case you do experience any of the other uncomfortable paresthesia symptoms, it is absolutely essential for you to consult a doctor, without any delay.


Most people are not even aware of the fact that they can go through leg paresthesia treatment, for relief from all the uncomfortable symptoms that they are experiencing. In some cases, there is no cure for paresthesia, yet the symptoms can be managed, by following a few simple steps. Since the treatment for paresthesia depends entirely on the factors that are causing it, all patients should consult a doctor, before trying to deal with it at home.

Many doctors advise people to take certain medication, so that they can loosen their muscles and move their limbs more actively. In most instances, when paresthesia has been caused by an underlying health problem, it is necessary to first cure that problem, before trying to treat to manage paresthesia and its symptoms.

Women who are pregnant too, need to consult a doctor if they suspect they are suffering from their condition. While it is normal for a woman to see her leg falling asleep while pregnant, it is important to lookout for the other, more severe signs and symptoms of the condition and to keep the doctor informed about them.

There is a lot of information easily available on paresthesia through various resources. However, all people are strongly advised to seek professional help while coping with the condition.

answered by M W

Poor Circulation causes your legs to tingle or fall asllep. You can relieve it by doing some leg exercises, stretches at least 15 mins a day

answered by C

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