You’ve likely heard the saying, ‘walking on pins and needles.’ Unfortunately, feeling like you have pins and needles in your feet is a different sensation. Not only can it be annoying and uncomfortable, but painful. There are several possible causes of this problem.
Experiencing a tingling sensation in your feet can mean a lot of different things. People may even describe the feeling differently. Some people may feel it more in their arches and heels. Others experience tingling in their toes.
Wherever you may be feeling it, it’s important to know what is causing pins and needles in your feet. In some cases, it could be a minor problem that is easy to treat. Other times, it could be a sign of a more severe health issue.
No matter what, getting rid of the sensation is essential. You don’t have to endure a tingling sensation that causes discomfort. Relieving the pressure can make a world of difference in your comfort level. On the other side, not taking care of the problem might make it worse.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Why Do I Have Tingling Feet and Toes?
- 2 How Are Tingling Feet Diagnosed?
- 3 Will the Feeling of Pins and Needles in My Feet Go Away?
- 4 Lifestyle Changes that Stop Pins and Needles in the Feet
- 5 Are Feet that Tingle a Health Problem?
- 6 Read Our Latest Posts:
Why Do I Have Tingling Feet and Toes?
This guide will focus on several causes of tingling feet. If you consistently feel like you have pins and needles poking at your feet and toes, it’s necessary to know why. Sometimes, the problem could be temporary. In these cases, it takes little effort to get your feet feeling normal again.
Other times, though, you may need more serious treatment. The tingling sensation could be the result of something more troubling. Each potential cause comes with its own set of symptoms. We’ll cover some causes and what signs you should look for. From there, we’ll let you know how you can treat each problem.
Temporary Pins and Needles
Many times, the tingling sensation in your feet and toes can be momentary. In these cases, it’s nothing to worry about, but can be uncomfortable at the time. These instances usually come from too much pressure on your nerves.
This pressure usually comes from being in one position for too long. It could come from crossing your legs or having your feet in a ‘cramped’ position. When too much pressure is placed on your nerves, it causes a tingling feeling. What’s the good news? The feeling can go away once the pressure is relieved. If you’ve ever felt like your foot is asleep, it’s the result of pressure buildup.
The feeling caused by this type of pressure is usually painless. It will also go away in a matter of minutes once the pressure is removed. This is one of the most common reasons for a tingling feeling in the feet and is also one of the most harmless.
Unfortunately, other causes could be causing the problem. Many times, the other possible causes can be more severe and need different types of treatment.
It’s important to recognize the difference between temporary nerve pressure and permanent nerve damage.
If you experience any of the following symptoms along with tingling, you should seek medical attention:
One of the more serious conditions that could be linked to tingling feet is diabetes. There are many signs and symptoms to look for when it comes to diabetes. It is considered to be one of the top causes of peripheral neuropathy or severe nerve damage. More often than not, it affects the feet and lower parts of the body first. The tingling feeling will eventually then go up the body, affecting hands and arms.
The symptoms associated with nerve damage are among the first for diabetes. Poor circulation becomes a serious problem.
Other early signs include:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Feeling tired
- Dry mouth
Treating diabetes requires medical attention. In most cases, it can be monitored and managed successfully with medication and lifestyle changes. Things like foot circulation boosters can also help to reduce the pins and needles sensation on your feet and toes. It’s important for people with diabetes to take care of their feet, so being able to manage the tingling feeling can make a difference in treatment.
Aside from diabetes, there are a few other systemic diseases that can cause your toes to tingle. All these diseases relate to nerve issues and can cause nerve damage.
Some of the most common illnesses that affect the feet include:
- Kidney disorders
- Hormone imbalances
- Various Cancers
- Liver disease
Anything that presses against nerve endings or can damage them in any way has the potential to cause tingling feet. While all these diseases need a medical diagnosis and treatment, you should never ignore the feeling of pins and needles under your feet.
It could be an early sign of a more significant underlying illness. If you know diabetes isn’t likely, one of these disorders may not be out of the question. The sooner you seek treatment for them, the better. So, don’t rule them out if you start noticing more symptoms.
Not having the right kind of nutrition in your life can cause a lot of problems. Vitamin deficiencies are a common culprit that can result in a tingly feeling through your feet. So, why is it important to have the right kind of vitamins in your system?
Certain vitamins are essential for your nerves to function properly. Specifically, if you have low Vitamin E, Vitamin B, or niacin, you could experience a tingling sensation.
At the same time, though, you can also have too much of a good thing. Too much Vitamin B6 has been associated with peripheral neuropathy. It can also cause tingling in your hands.
Of course, the solution to nutritional deficiencies is fairly simple. It’s best to get your vitamins from the food you eat. Eating a diverse, vitamin-rich diet is necessary to get the nutrition you need. Even if you do have a diet rich in the right vitamins, making sure your body can absorb the vitamins the right way is important. If you feel as though you eat a healthy diet but still aren’t getting the nutrition you need, you may need to supplement your intake with over-the-counter vitamins.
Different vitamin deficiencies can create different symptoms, so this may not be an easy diagnosis at first. But, one thing most nutritional deficiencies have in common is that they cause fatigue. If you find that you’re tired most of the time, and you’re also experiencing pins and needles in your hands and feet, take a look at your nutrition.
Just like diseases can cause your feet to tingle, so can infections within the body. Thankfully, infections are often easier to treat. Some of them will force you to take medication. Others may just need to run their course. Some of the biggest infections associated with this problem include Lyme Disease, shingles, or the herpes simplex virus.
Each of these problems comes with their own set of symptoms.
There are certain things you should look out for with each infection, such as:
- Lyme disease: Joint pain, weak limbs, stiffness, swelling
- Shingles: Painful rash, scabbing, redness, ulcers, fatigue
- Herpes simplex virus: Pain, itching, burning, redness, ulcers, and scab (genital or oral)
Certain injuries can create problems for your nerve endings, such as an injury playing football. Thankfully, if you become injured and then experience tingling in your feet, it’s easy to pinpoint the cause. You might notice the feeling of pins and needles right away, or it might take some time before your nerves show severe signs of damage. How your nerves respond to an injury greatly depends on what happened to them.
Nerves can be exposed to trauma. It doesn’t have to be a repeated situation. Something as simple as dropping a heavy object on your foot could severely damage the nerves. When that happens, a numbing sensation can take over. This occurs when they are pressed or crushed. The sudden trauma can create lasting damage, leaving you with a tingling sensation in different areas of the body.
If you recently experienced an injury of some kind and are having lasting symptoms, such as tingling feet, you may have nerve damage. Give the injury time to heal, going through physical therapy if necessary. In most cases, you should be able to make a recovery and return to a normal feeling in your feet. Nerves can become damaged easily, but they are resilient and will regrow and repair with time.
Most people recognize that too much alcohol is never a good thing. But, the repercussions of drinking too much goes far beyond feeling ‘drunk’ or having a headache the next morning. Too much drinking can lead to a numb feeling in different areas of the body. That’s because alcohol can directly affect your nerve endings.
Alcohol is considered a toxin. There is a condition called alcoholic neuropathy. It is often linked with vitamin deficiencies since alcohol also can severely dehydrate your system. Keep in mind that this is a condition and a problem for people who drink excessively.
You don’t necessarily have to give up a glass of wine at the end of the day. But, if you feel as though your drinking habits may be causing health issues, it’s important to put a stop to them.
How Are Tingling Feet Diagnosed?
It’s not always easy to determine what might be causing your tingling feet. Most people will seek out an official diagnosis from a doctor to get help. Some things you can do to prepare yourself are to think about your medical history and regular environment. A family history of diseases or any potential risk for infection are also important to keep in mind.
In most cases, a physical exam and bloodwork will need to be done to determine what might be causing the tingling sensation in your feet and toes. Blood tests can detect most things, from harmful diseases to infections. They can even determine if you have any vitamin deficiencies, or if there are any types of toxins within your system.
If no results can be found from a blood test, your doctor may want to do a nerve biopsy or skin biopsy. These tests will help to determine if nerves are permanently damaged, or if they can be restored. If the cause of your tingling feet is some type of illness or infection, you’ll be able to get an official diagnosis for that, too. The sooner your diagnosis is confirmed, the sooner you can start treatment for the problem.
Will the Feeling of Pins and Needles in My Feet Go Away?
Now that you know some of the most common causes of tingling feet, it should be easier to determine how to treat the problem. If you have a condition that hasn’t completely killed off your nerve cells, you’re in luck – the feeling of pins and needles should go away. Nerve cells can regenerate. So, even if they are damaged, it doesn’t mean you have to live with a tingling sensation forever.
Whether your feet will feel normal again greatly depends on the condition causing the problem to begin with. Some people have inherited peripheral neuropathy. Unfortunately, there is no ‘cure’ or regular treatment for it yet.
Lifestyle Changes that Stop Pins and Needles in the Feet
Usually, the lifestyle choices you make can have a direct impact on the sensations in your feet and toes. For example, if you do have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar is a great way to keep your feet feeling healthy.
In many other cases, living a healthy lifestyle can make a big impact. Keep the following tips in mind if you’re prone to the feeling of pins and needles in your feet. They will help you manage the sensation, and keep you in good health.
- Know your optimal weight, and try to stay within that range.
- Add extra room to your footwear with a shoe stretcher.
- Exercise regularly, or follow a doctor-recommended fitness program.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Try using a circulation booster machine.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Quit smoking, if applicable.
- Avoid wearing high heels.
Of course, these tips can’t completely prevent you from feeling the numbing sensation. If you have a serious medical condition or infection, treating that problem will help with all the symptoms. But, making these healthy choices can give you a head start in feeling better and accepting treatment in a healthier state.
Are Feet that Tingle a Health Problem?
There are a few problems that you should be aware of if you have a sleeping sensation in your feet. Of course, if the issue is caused by a disease or infection, that can already pose some dangers. But, if you notice this sensation in your feet and toes, it can pose some risks of its own.
The real danger of feet that feel like they’re tingling is that they could feel numb. This is a major risk for diabetics. But, it’s also a problem for anyone with this condition. Why is it so dangerous? When you can’t really ‘feel’ your feet, every step you take is a risk.
The main concern for people who have this sensation is that something may happen to their foot, and they won’t be able to feel it. If you let an injury go for too long, it could become infected or create bigger problems. It’s why diabetics do whatever it takes to improve their circulation. While it’s not a problem for your feet to feel like they’re ‘sleeping’ for a few minutes, more significant conditions can cause greater problems.
If you’re concerned that you can’t fully feel your feet, it’s important to get to the bottom of what might be causing the problem. Otherwise, it could get worse.
Do I Have a Serious Medical Condition?
We hope this guide has given you some insight into possible causes and ways to stop pins and needles in the feet. A tingling sensation in your feet and toes may be nothing to worry about. But, if your nerves are being damaged, you could suffer long-term problems. Since there are so many possible causes, narrowing them down is the key to getting treatment.
Thankfully, most of the causes listed here have more symptoms to look out for. For example, if you get diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll likely have more warning signs than just feet that tingle. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the sensation when it happens. If it goes away on its own after a few minutes, you can take comfort in knowing your nerves are probably fine. If it doesn’t, it could be the result of something more serious.
Treatment and management options are widely available for most conditions. If you’re worried about what your tingling feet might mean, get an official diagnosis. As long as your nerves aren’t completely dead, you’ll likely be able to feel normal again with treatment.