Don’t Ignore Tingling and Numbness in Your Hands and Feet

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tingling in feet


Tingling and numbness in your hands and feet is something you definitely should not ignore. That being said, not all tingling is indicative of a serious problem, like when your foot “falls asleep,” for example. However, many instances could suggest a larger issue, and should not be taken lightly. Here’s our guide on which types of tingling and numbness in your hands and feet you definitely should not ignore.

tingling-in-hands-and-feetExamining the Sensations

Tingling in your hands or feet can feel like constant pinpricks. It’s generally impossible to ignore, and can be very aggravating. You might try shaking the problem area, or wiggling your fingers or toes, hoping that an increase in blood flow will get rid of the tingling feeling. However, this only works when the tingling is caused by reduced blood flow, like when you sleep in an awkward position.

It’s important to ask yourself, why are my hands tingling? If it’s not from an awkward sleeping position, the cause could be indicative of something more serious.

Numbness is a more complex feeling. When it occurs, you may feel as though you’ve lost control of your hands or feet. You might not feel anything at all. It’s similar to the sensation of sleeping in an uncomfortable position, only the feeling won’t go away. When you experience numbness for more than a day or two, take your problem seriously. At a minimum, you have probably suffered nerve damage, and you could have an even more serious malady.

tingling-in-feetWhat Tingling Means

Diagnosing either of these feelings can be tricky. If you experience either for more than a day or two, visit with your doctor, who will give you a full medical examination. The thing to know about tingling is that it is not as serious as numbness. In fact, many of the conditions that cause tingling are temporary. However, do pay careful attention if the tingling is associated with pain.

Pain combined with numbness is a much more serious matter. It is a warning sign that your body is breaking down. If the pain is severe or chronic, you could have nerve damage that is preventing normal body function. It’s often a sign of infection, which could stem from bacterial or viral sources. An undiagnosed disease is another possibility. Regardless, there are many potential issues that stem from either feeling, making either condition something that warrants a visit to your doctor.

tingling-in-handsWhat Numbness Means

Unlike tingling, numbness usually indicates a serious health issue. No minor bodily irritations would cause an extended period of numbness. Diseases, such as diabetes, are a more likely cause. In the most extreme instances, you may suffer issues with your central nervous system.

As an example, Lupus, an autoimmune disease, is a condition that often reveals itself through numb feelings. If the issue isn’t a disease, you may have spine or neck conditions that are causing the sensation. Visit your doctor as soon as possible if you experience this feeling over an extended period of time.

Other Causes of Tingling and Numbness

Potential triggers include: repetitive stress disorders, systemic diseases, infections and vitamin deficiencies. Stress disorders, such as injuries suffered while typing, are less serious. Systemic diseases such as liver ailments, benign tumors and chronic inflammation will require medical attention immediately.

Vitamin deficiencies are treatable, and therefore less serious. The key is to identify the condition quickly. Otherwise, you’ll endure needless pain for an extended period.

Infections cover the spectrum from modest irritations to potentially fatal. They, too, require a medical examination to determine if treatment by antibiotics is required.

In conclusion, prolonged tingling and numbness can be serious concerns. Should you suffer from either symptom, you should see a doctor immediately. Your doctor will be able to identify the severity of the problem, and offer the best course for treatment.

peripherial-neuropathy

63 COMMENTS

    • Vamsi,

      If you ignore these symptoms, they may get worse, or the underlying issue may progressively get worse. If you have symptoms like this, it’s very important to speak with your doctor, who will be able to better investigate what’s happening.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  1. Hi there,
    my wife has continuous numbness in her right hand, and sometimes the left one, and the right leg.
    she did a xray for the spine, nothing abnormal
    she did test her blood, to see the level of colesterol and tiglicerides, they are normal
    the 2nd doctor said could be stress or anxiety, what is the best way to diagnose that? so she doesnt end up in useless multi session of psicatric clinic.

  2. i just started taking Coreg after 2 days I started to feel numbness in my hand and feet. Could this be due to medication and is it serious ? Does this symptom go away after continuing to tke Coreg?

    • Hi Marvin,

      If you’re feeling numbness in your hands and feet after taking Coreg, please call your doctor right away. This is a serious side effect and your doctor needs to be made aware of it.

      Best,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  3. Hi my son who is 26 has suddenly started feel numb when he woke up. He felt is feel going numb before getting out t=of bed then his hand. This has happen in January while is was working at the time he felt very tried too. We went to see cardiologies who said there is nothing wrong with his heart then we saw neologise and he even said there is nothing wrong with his nerves. One of his eye and around the eye and that side of nose has ben painful for last 8 month and his lips feels dry all the time too. He drinks 3LT of water a day. We feel so helpless, please please advised.
    Many thanks

    • Mina,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m sorry that your son is experiencing these symptoms. It’s important that you’re working with a medical professional, which it sounds like you are. Please do not give up hope, keep working with your primary care doctor, and keep exploring all options until you get to the root of the problem.

      Best,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

    • Hi Mina,
      Have the doctors done any blood tests to see whether he is deficient in anything? I would recommend folate, b12, vitamin d and iron (thyroid). Also have they tested for diabetes?

      • Kay,

        Thank you for your comment. If his condition is worsening, I would recommend revisiting the issue with your son’s doctor, or getting a second opinion. This is something that should not be taken lightly.

        Thanks,

        Maren

  4. Whenever I move my head in a downward position, both of my feet go to sleep? The only thing I have done for this so far is go to the chiropractor, and he told me to not worry about it, but now my feet go numb/tingling when I am standing up or sitting. I am getting concerned and am wondering what it could be? Can you help me out?

    Thank you,
    Karen M

    • Hello Karen, I had a similar situation with my right foot called drop foot. I had a pinched nerve in L5. You might want to talk with your doctor and have him look further into the issue. Here’s a great article by Spine Health on the spine and nerve roots. Good luck and share your story in our Pain Resource Forum!

  5. Hi Maren,

    Greetings for the day.

    My father around 65 years of age. He is feeling numb in foot fingers when wake-up, some time at down of right arm back side. we done the blood tests for Sugar and cholesterol. But everything is normal.

    please advice us for which treatment we should go.

    • Hi Karthik,

      I’m sorry to hear that your father is experiencing numbness and tingling. It can be hard to get to the bottom of the root cause sometimes. Your father’s primary care doctor will be his best resource. If you don’t feel that he is receiving the treatment or diagnosis that he needs, please get a second opinion from another doctor.

      Thanks,

      Maren

  6. I’ve been to my doctors on numerous occasions regarding the tingling in both hands and arms since September last year. It only occurs in the morning and either wakes me up or happens when I start stirring from my sleep. I have heart palpitations with it too. Lasts for about 20 seconds and then disappears. The doctor has done blood tests and I’ve had an ECG but they don’t know what it is. I’m getting worried as it wakes me up every single morning! What should I do?

    • Julia,

      Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry that you’re experiencing these symptoms. It can be frustrating when tests don’t reveal a source of the problem. Please continue seeing your doctor, and if you’re not getting the answers that you need, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. I know it’s tough, but keep working toward a solution and you will find answers.

      Best,

      Maren

  7. my hands and finger tips tingle constantlt they feel numb most of the time, paticulary bed time n morning sometimes i find it hard to open n close my hands fully, they are allso swollen too sometimes more days than others, allso my leggs i get bad tingling n cramps n my calfs and when im on my feet all day or working they swell so bad im having to buy shoes a size bigger just to get into them , my feet n legs r very painfull, iv not been to doctors yet feel like thet ll tell me it will go away or its normal, , what should i do? n do u have any idea what it could be, i will be going to change my doctors surgery tomorrow hopefully as i dont feel comfortable with thenm they havnt seemed to help me a lot before in the past, thankyou

    • Hi Martina,

      Thank you for reaching out. It is very important that you are comfortable with your doctor, and that you get the help that you need. Before you go into the office, write out a list of questions. That way you won’t forget to ask anything when you’re in front of your doctor. Doctors are busy people, but your health is important. Make sure you get all of your questions answered before you leave. If you’re not getting the help that you need, or don’t feel comfortable, please get a second opinion. I know it’s time consuming to schedule an appointment with another doctor, but sometimes you have to visit multiple doctors in order to find one who’s a good fit for you and can help you find a solution. Wishing you the very best.

      Sincerely,

      Maren

  8. So if my hand falls asleep and I just sit there and stare at it instead of moving it, is the hand just going to fall of or is the tingling just going to get worse and worse?

    • Hannah,

      Thank you for your comment. If your hand falls asleep, the tingling sensation should subside as soon as you start moving it. If the sensation remains or gets worse and worse, it could be indicative of a more serious issue, and should be checked out by your primary care doctor.

      Thanks,

      Maren

  9. Hi my husband has been suffering from no feeling in hands and legs for some time he is on medication but not doing any good . He cannot walk I have to do everything! !I am at my whitschool end and finding it very difficult as I have osteoporosis should I go further with this please

    • Hi Val,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It sounds like you’re in a difficult situation. If your husband’s medications are not working, please consult with the doctor that prescribed them. I know it can be time consuming and difficult to schedule an appointment and take a trip into the office, but it’s so important to let the doctor know that the medication isn’t working, so that he or she can develop a more effective treatment plan. Wishing you the very best.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  10. My left hand ring and pinky finger have started to have this tingling feel to them and it started about three weeks ago. My mother says its from sleeping on it the wrong way but i don’t think that is the problem. and its starting to scare me what should i do?

    • Cheyenne,

      Thanks for your comment. Has the tingling stayed constant for three weeks? If so, it’s something you should have your doctor check out. The good news, in your case, is that numbness tends to be more severe than tingling. That being said, it still is something that you should get checked out. If you don’t think that’s the issue, go with your gut instinct and get a second opinion. Your doctor will help you rule out potential causes, and can help uncover the true reason for the tingling. It’s better to catch something like this early on, so I would recommend going now.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  11. I am 58 yrs old male from Delhi, India. I get frequent numbness or tingling ( occurring more often as compared to earlier) in my limbs and legs and hands. What could be the cause and its remedy?

    The numbness occurs when my hands or legs are in same position for longer time. Is it normal for every one? Sitting cross legged down for longer time in my childhood (also now) causes this problem though the tingling feeling goes off after shaking hands or legs. The duration of numbness is increasing day by day. I also notice that other people of my age do not have this problem.

    My lower back is also giving me trouble with continuous pain or stiffness.

    Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

    • Hi Gyanendra,

      If you are experiencing tingling in your arms or legs as a result from sitting in a particular position for a while, that is generally not something to be concerned about. That being said, if it seems uncommon from what other people are experiencing, as you had mentioned in your comment, it might be worth having a doctor check it out. Sometimes a pinched nerve in the back can cause tingling in your extremities. It’s better to have a doctor take a look, and he or she will be able to give you a better assessment of what’s going on.

      Wishing you the best,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

    • Hi Lacey,

      If you are experiencing these symptoms, please consult with your doctor. He or she are most familiar with your specific medical history, and can best recommend a treatment plan to help you to feel better.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  12. Hi I’m a uber driver and lately I’m getting numb tingling sensation in my feet. So just recently started to walk more in the park and today or just recently started to get electrical numbness in my feet when I’m standing, for a period of 1 or 2 min. But then it goes away.

    • Christian,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing those symptoms. I would definitely have it checked out by a doctor. They’ll be able to go over your medical history and unique situation to provide you with the best assessment and plan moving forward.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  13. Hi Maren,
    I had a tingling sensation all way up just my legs last year when I was stood up.
    It only lasted a week or so, I now haven’t had this sensation for months.
    Because it was bothering me I went to the doctor’s, I then got referred to the hospital.
    I have a appointment come through now, I am unsure on what to do as I haven’t had the symptoms for nearly 6 months.
    I don’t know if it’s a waste of a appointment or if I should still attend?
    Please can you give me your advice.
    Thanks.

  14. I had an operation 5 weeks ago on my right shoulder. since then I have had tingling and numbness in my right hand and thumb. It is very painful. I contacted the surgeon who said that this can be normal for a few weeks after an op. What is your opinion on this. What do you advise?

    • Hi Margaret,

      I’m sorry that you’re experiencing tingling and numbness in your hand and thumb. I would recommend being persistent with your surgeon, and telling he or she that you feel it is more serious than the “norm.” You are your best advocate, and sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones and be more vocal to get the attention that you need. You can also get a second opinion. If you believe that it’s something more, go with your instinct and don’t hesitate to keep asking questions until you have the answers that you need.

      Sincerely,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  15. Hi Maren,

    Great article. “Big thumbs up.” It is of great help to me. I need a bit of more help from you. My wife started feeling tingling in her feet of and on since the birth of our first child, who is one year old now. Now, for the past 2-3 months months, her tingling in feet has become more unbearable to her. Our doctor (general physician) said it is weakness after delivery and more so she is lactating too, and prescribed a few multivitamins, iron pills, calcium plus Vit D, which she has been taking for over a month now but of not benefit. There is not even a bit of improvement in her symptoms.

    I don’t understand what to do now. Which medical specialist should I approach. Should I take her to a neurologist or a gynecologist or endocrinologist or who else. I am in a fuss.

    Please guide me.

    Thanks,

    • Hi Noor,

      Congratulations on your first child! This is such an exciting time in life.

      I’m sorry to hear that your wife is experiencing such tingling. In my research I see that tingling in the feet can actually last up to a year after pregnancy, because during pregnancy the veins around her pelvis were compressed, which limits the blood flow from her feet. This can result in tingling or numbness. It can actually take up to a year for blood flow to return to normal in some women. That being said, this is a concern if your wife ever had gestational diabetes. If she has suffered from this condition in the past, the tingling and numbness could be a sign that the diabetes has returned, or was never fully resolved.

      If diabetes is a concern, I would check with her primary care physician. In regard to the tingling, it might be better to speak with her gynecologist or obstetrician, who may have worked with women in the past with similar symptoms.

      Hope this helps, wishing you all the best.

  16. Hello, today i woke up in the morning my left hand’s finger seems to be a little numb, I’m 16 years of age, my parents aren’t with me amd I don’t know what to do. Could you please tell me what dhould i do??

    • Hi Mariam,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling numbness in your finger. If it hasn’t gone away, I would definitely have a doctor check it out. It’s best to get a medical expert’s opinion in-person for something like this.

  17. This site seems useless all it does is refer one to ones doctor, Maren seems to know nothing but refer, why bother to have her,
    . Though through her perhaps people who did not know that they can see a doctor now know!!!

    • Hi Renee,

      I’m sorry about your frustration. Sometimes people can find answers about conditions online, and other times the situations are those that need to be checked out by a doctor. Tingling and numbness are typically conditions that should be checked out by a doctor to make sure they aren’t indicative of a larger issue. This is why we typically recommend that people with these symptoms visit a doctor.

  18. I have started feeling numbness in my left hand all of a sudden and one day has passed still feeling the same.
    I am feeling thirsty quite often drinking 8 to 10 lts water a day with not so frequent urination.
    I am 23 in age.

  19. Hi – I’ve been experiencing numbness in my right foot, especially toes (which I was thinking came from wearing high heels on a regular basis) but now it’s in my right hand and my fingers. My fingers and toes get VERY cold which is actually a different sensation than the numbness. What’s happening?!

  20. I’m really worry, I’m 40 years old, couples weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night with both hands and feet tingling , also I felt my left side of my face tingling too, I’ be Been with a lot of stress lately due to personal reasons, sometimes I fell it during the day too! What’s should I do?

    • Hi Eddy,

      It sounds like this is something that should be checked out by a doctor. I would recommend scheduling an appointment to get the tingling checked out. Stress can definitely accentuate our medical conditions, but if it’s something that’s waking you up in the middle of the night, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion.

    • Hi Denise,

      I understand your frustration, and it’s important to remember that each person is a unique individual. Everyone has unique conditions that might cause any tingling or numbing sensations in their body. Doctors do not give medical advice without seeing a patient, because they need to have a complete understanding of the person’s medical history, current physical health, medications and more in order to make a proper assessment. When we’re looking for answers, sometimes it requires seeing a doctor – or even multiple doctors – to get to the root of the problem. I wish you the very best with whatever it is that you’re facing, and hope you find the answers that you’re looking for.

  21. MAREN I’VE BEEN GETTING NUMBNESS AND TINGLING AND PAIN IN MY HANDS. IT’S LIKE MY HANDS ARE FALLING ASLEEP BUT IT HAPPENS DAY AND NIGHT 24/7. IT KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR JUST OVER 2 WEEKS NOW IT WAKES ME UP EVERY NIGHT. DO YOU THINK I SHOULD SEE A DOCTOR?

    • Hi Leah,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing these symptoms. If it is still bothering you, I would recommend getting it checked out by a doctor. He or she will be able to point you in the right direction based on your specific needs.

  22. Hello about 3 yrs ago I was in a accident nothing major but abut 3 most later i noticed my hands going numb fast forward to present the pain is almost unbearable it effects my everyday life still going numb but at an immediate pace my thighs are showing signs of numbness I’m pre diabetic any ideas

  23. My mother is 53 yrs old she gets numbness with little pain whenever she wakes up from sleep in her limbs, legs and hands. What could be the cause and whom to consult. Neurologist or some other doctor?

    • Good question – I’d recommend visiting your mom’s primary care doctor first, who will be able to recommend the best specialist. Wishing her the best and we hope you find the answers you’re looking for soon.

  24. I’m 42 years old and it been almost a month that I feel numbness and tingling on by both hand everyday ,I did a research in regards to my issue it say I’m lack on vitamin B12 as well as my doctor told me and give me same prescription still nothing happen also do some exercise still the same ,Please let me know what other remedies that I need to know just to get rid of this ….

  25. I get a lot of tingling, sometimes painful (feels sort of like they are on fire at times). Elevating rarely helps. I also at times get tingling in my left hand. It usually is worse as the day goes on, but ave had times that I wake up with excruciating pain in my feet. It is sometimes that same tingling as when your foot wakes up but without the numbness. As I said before it can feel internally “hot”, but not to touch. I do have different amounts of swelling in my feet and calves from water retention. Though even when not visible swollen I still get this tingling pain so I don’t know if there is a correlation. I do have some days where I have no pain or tingling at all but can not determine what is different.

  26. Good Day,

    I have been getting tingling sensation in my left foot and left leg on and off now for a month. I was hit by a car two years ago and broke a few ribs and broke my right side toes. so i have been getting theses sensation for a month now, could that play apart? I do drink a lot of black coffee daily, and i take a multivitamin A-Z one a day and since i been taking them i have started to get the sensations.

    • Simone,

      First of all, I’m sorry you are going through what you are going through. I personally had a condition called drop foot with a tingling sensation going down my leg from the knee down on my right leg. I went to a neuro-chiropractor and it turned out I had a pinched nerve in my L-5. I didn’t do the recommended surgery but did do a lot of exercise to strengthen my back and it did eventually go away. My suggestion to you is find a neuro chiropractor and see what they say.

      Keep fighting the good fight!
      Gary

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