Numbness in the legs is considered to be a fairly common symptom, especially for people in the middle and older age groups. In most cases, it indicates the presence of severe pathologies of the spine.
There are a large number of reasons why the legs, which are based on a violation of the blood supply to the lower extremities, become numb. One or another illness can also be indicated by the area and side of the lesion.
Clinical manifestations associated with the main symptom will differ depending on the etiological factor, but the main of them are considered to be loss of sensitivity, tingling, and goosebumps. Identify the cause will help instrumental methods of diagnosis. To neutralize the main feature is often quite conservative methods of therapy.
The appearance of leg numbness in almost all cases is due to the presence of problems with the spine. Sometimes such a symptom occurs on the background of fairly innocuous causes, including:
- prolonged maintenance of an uncomfortable body position, for example, during sleep or with long sitting in the workplace. In such cases, after changing the posture, the discomfort disappears;
- long-term effect on the body of low temperatures – the body’s reaction to hypothermia begins precisely with the lower extremities. People should always keep their feet warm during the cold season;
- wearing uncomfortable or overly narrow shoes – often leads to numbness of the fingers, but if you do not stop the influence of such a factor, the numbness spreads throughout the limb;
- the period of childbearing – at this time there is an increase in the volume of fluid in the body of the future mother;
- sedentary or sedentary lifestyle – the main source of the fact that numb legs below the knee.
As for the pathological causes of leg numbness, there are many more. In most cases, the appearance of this symptom is affected by:
The location of a similar symptom will help to establish the etiological factor more accurately. Thus, hip numbness is often a manifestation of:
- lumbar hernia;
- the formation of a small intervertebral hernia, which often develops against the background of lumbar osteochondrosis;
- radicular syndrome or sciatica;
- inflammatory process in the sciatic nerve;
- Bernhardt-Roth’s paresthetic meralgia or other tunnel syndromes;
- spinal stenosis due to degenerative-dystrophic changes.
If the calf stiffens, this may be due to:
- deficiency in the body of vitamins and essential elements such as sodium, magnesium and potassium;
- disruption of the functioning of the central nervous system;
- lack of physical activity in a person’s life;
- the formation of varicose veins;
- the development of thrombophlebitis.
Numbness of the left leg is caused by:
The appearance of such a symptom in the right leg is observed due to the following factors:
- the occurrence of a complicated form of osteochondrosis, namely in the lumbar region;
- polyneuropathy and other systemic ailments;
- thrombosis and varicose veins;
- posttraumatic syndromes.
Factors that indicate why the legs go numb below the knees:
Numbness of the legs above the knee is observed when:
- excessive loads of the ankle joint;
- uncomfortable position of the body;
- necrosis of the femoral head;
- wearing uncomfortable shoes.
Numbness of the feet causes:
- intervertebral hernia;
- multiple sclerosis;
- obliterating endarteritis;
- ischemic stroke;
- Raynaud’s disease;
- tumor growth;
- violation of the blood supply to the brain.
Similar factors explain the numbness of the legs from the knee to the foot.
The appearance of the main symptom is never observed independently, it is accompanied by a fairly large number of other clinical manifestations. Thus, the main symptoms of numbness in the legs are:
- violation of sensitivity – a person can not distinguish hot from cold;
- tingling sensation and goosebumps on the skin;
- a sharp occurrence of pain in the spine, chest and other areas;
- severe dizziness and intense headaches;
- weakness and fatigue;
- itching and burning of the skin;
- heaviness in the legs;
- gait change;
- the blueness of the skin of the affected limb or leg area;
- soreness at night.
It is these symptoms that form the basis of the clinical picture, but may differ depending on why the legs go numb.
In cases of the first symptoms, it is necessary as soon as possible to seek help from a vertebrologist, therapist or neurologist who knows what to do with numbness in the legs, diagnose and prescribe the most effective treatment tactics.
First of all, the doctor needs:
- to study the history of the disease and the history of the patient’s life, which will indicate some reasons for the appearance of the main unpleasant symptom;
- to carry out a detailed physical examination, which is needed to study the condition of the skin and legs, as well as to identify the numbness focus;
- question the patient carefully to understand what symptoms, how long, and with what intensity.
The following instrumental examinations will help to accurately identify the root cause of leg numbness from the hip to the knee, as well as other localization:
- vascular doplerography – for the detection of pathologies of arteries or vessels;
- CT and MRI – to detect hidden fractures and changes in the structure of the spine;
- EEG and magnetic nuclear resonance – to determine the exact localization of the affected nerve and diagnose diseases of the central nervous system;
- Ultrasound and radiography with the use of a contrast agent.
Among laboratory tests, only a general blood test, which can indicate the presence of anemia, has diagnostic value.
The elimination of the main symptom is always aimed at eliminating the cause of leg numbness, found during diagnostic activities, and only a doctor can prescribe it, individually for each patient.
The treatment scheme for patients in most cases includes:
- taking drugs;
- manual therapy;
- the exercise of therapeutic gymnastics, compiled by the attending physician;
- methods of alternative medicine.
Drug therapy involves the use of:
- steroid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
- chondroprotectors and muscle relaxants;
- analgesics and antispasmodics;
- vitamin and mineral complexes.
Physical therapy is aimed at the implementation of:
- electrophoresis and phonophoresis;
- low intensity laser radiation;
- therapeutic massage stones;
- magnetic therapy, as well as the effects of ultrasound and microcurrent.
Such techniques trigger regeneration processes, have a biostimulating effect and improve the blood supply to the affected area.
Good results can be achieved by using alternative medicine recipes, but this can be done only after the approval of the attending physician. The most effective methods of such therapy are:
- honey – it is used for wraps;
- alcohol – it must be rubbed into the area in which numbness is felt;
- any fat with added sugar – the mixture is applied as an ointment;
- vodka and lilac – tincture is necessary for compresses.
The duration of such treatment should not be less than two weeks.
As for surgical intervention, it is carried out only according to individual indications.
Ignoring the symptoms and the lack of treatment can lead to circulatory disorders or partial gangrene of the lower extremities.
There are no specific preventive measures for leg numbness, people should follow general rules:
- completely abandon the addiction;
- reduce salt intake;
- more often in the open air;
- Enrich the diet with fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as ingredients with a high content of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamins;
- minimize wearing heels;
- control body weight;
- lead a moderately active lifestyle;
- several times a year to undergo a full clinical examination, for the early detection of those diseases, a symptom of which is numbness of the lower extremities.
Numbness of the legs will have a favorable outcome only when timely and comprehensive treatment is initiated.