After a long day, more often than not the first thing we want to do is get off our feet. The phrase “take a load off” is no exaggeration as your feet literally support your total bodyweight every moment you’re up and moving around. For many of us, that may be several hours a day which can lead to a couple of very tired or sore feet. But, what if your feet are actually numb?
If you’re experiencing more than just occasional short term numbness or tingling in one or both of your feet, the cause could be anything from ill-fitting shoes (particularly for women) or a vitamin deficiency to one of several, and much more severe, medical conditions. Either way, it’s not normal and definitely not something you should neglect in hopes that it will go away on its own.
That Tingling Sensation Is Telling You Something
Lack of blood flow to any area of the body can create a numb or prickly feeling. As you’ve probably experienced sometime in your life, prolonged sitting (especially in an unusual position) is a common cause of foot numbness. Of course, that tingling or lack of sensation will dissipate after your get your leg moving around and force some fresh blood back into it. If your feet go numb more often than that, you may have deep vein thrombosis, or even some nerve damage somewhere in your lower back. If that’s the case you may also have some pain, tingling, or numbness in your legs, as well.
More serious, neurological origins of foot numbness include osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. If you’re also experiencing other symptoms such as dizziness, slurred speech, changes in vision, or difficulty walking or breathing seek immediate medical attention, as these denote a potential life-threatening emergency.
Ignoring chronic foot numbness may mean ignoring a much more serious health threat, not to mention the potential and more immediate consequences like complete and continuous loss of feeling, paralysis, or even amputation. If one or both of your feet go numb, see your physician or health care provider for guidance on treatment options and making sure it’s not more than just your shoes being a bit too fashionable or a bit too small.