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Dr.L
Dr.L, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 323
Experience:  50 yearsin Medicine, Board Certi
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Legs and feet have a tingling, numb, heavy feeling

Customer Question

My legs and feet have a tingling, numb, heavy feeling......especially at night, what is causing this?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr.M.D.Mazumdar replied 8 years ago.

How old are you?

Since when have you had this problem?

Do you have any backache ? Can you sleep on your back at night?

Is the tingling, numbness more when you lie on your back?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am a 57 yr old woman......no, the problem doesn't change when I lie down, or lie on my back
I have had the problem off and on 3 months

Also, no.....I don't have any back ache

Expert:  Dr.M.D.Mazumdar replied 8 years ago.

The tingling and the numbness is likely to be due to spinal disc herniation or prolapse. The prolapsed disc puts pressure on the nerves carrying sensations from the legs - this will cause tingling and numbness.

Please consult an orthopedist - you will need an Xray as well as an MRI of the lower spine diagnosis.

The first line of treatment in spinal disc degeneration or herniation is usually painkillers and physiotherapy. If this does not help, injections at the point of compression of the nerves is given to decrease inflammation of the nerves. If even this does not help, surgery to remove the herniated or degenerated part of the spinal discs is necessary.

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It is not painful, so I know it is not a herniated disc or lower back problem (I have had friends and family with that problem and know the symptoms)

Expert:  Dr.M.D.Mazumdar replied 8 years ago.

Tingling or numbness of any part of the body occurs when the nerves to those areas are affected. If it had been on only one leg, I would have suspected a nerve pinching lower down, perhaps by the large muscles of the buttocks and/or thw thighs.

But since both the legs are affected, the nerve pressure has to come from the spine.

Plus the fact that the tingling increase when you lie down is an indication od a herniation. When you lie down, the muscles and the ligaments of the back relaxes, causing the herniation to increase.

Spinal disc herniation or degenration can occur without any pain.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I said it was worse at night, but didnt say it was worse when I lie down, and what about p a d?
or diabetes? or rls?
Expert:  Dr.M.D.Mazumdar replied 8 years ago.

Diabetes does cause tingling or numbness but is usually this is more common in one leg first. Increase in the the level of blood sugar will cause the tingling to occur in both the legs. The tingling will also occur throughout the day and night, instead of being more at night.

PAD rarely, if ever affects both the feet at the same time. And it is rare to get the tingling on the legs - the symptoms are usually more on the feet.

But if you do have a family history of diabetes, it will be better to get it checked out.

The chances of you having a spinal disc degeneration is higher.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My mother just recently died of parkinsons disease, and my two brothers have been diagnosed with RLS, could my symptoms be related?
Expert:  Dr.M.D.Mazumdar replied 8 years ago.

Parkinson's disease and RLS are frequently seen in the same person. But in both these conditions, the initial symptom is usually fine muscle cramps. Neither of them presents with tingling and numbness of the legs and feet.

But yes, both these conditions do occur due to a problem with the nerve tissue.

With your symptoms i doubt that these are related. But with such a strong family history, a neurologist consultation will be better.

Expert:  Dr.L replied 8 years ago.

Even experts disagree, and I have to believe that restless Leg Syndrome is a real possibility. I believe that you should see a neurologist who , after examining you would be in better position to advise you. If indeed you have RLS, there are two medications that seem to be quite effective in most cases, Requip or Mirapex. However it turns out see the neurologist to get the answer from the horse's mouth.

Good health to you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have numbness in my feet also, and I thought rls was just in the legs? I was also concerned about PAD and diabetes......do you have any thoughts on this?
Expert:  Dr.L replied 8 years ago.

Yes it could be diabetic neuropathy, maybe even PAD, but a blood test could answer the diabetic question, and good physical should rule peripherial vascular disease. Bottom-line, a good neurologist can give you the answers you need. an orthopaedist, maybe.

Dr.L, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 323
Experience: 50 yearsin Medicine, Board Certi
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Expert:  Dr.L replied 8 years ago.

If it is not too inconvenient, please let me know how this turns out.

Good health to you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks advice, I will get my regular dr. to recommend a neurologist, and will get a blood test .......
I will keep in touch with you.

Expert:  Dr.L replied 8 years ago.

Good luck.