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Kerry, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  35 years in Nursing: OB/GYN, Peds, Oncology, hospice, Ortho, Neuro, Addiction, Recovery, Geriatrics,
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My right leg has been "asleep" or very numb for about 4 days

Customer Question

My right leg has been "asleep" or very numb for about 4 days now. When it isn't numb it is cramping or spasming
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 11 years ago.

Numbness and tingling are abnormal
sensations that can occur anywhere in your body, but are often felt in
your hands, feet, arms, or legs. Since you rsymptoms have been present
for the last 4 days without any improvement, I would recommend getting
an appointment with your physician for a detailed examination.

Here is some more inforation on what may be possibly wrong

Common Causes

There are many possible causes:

  • Remaining in the same seated or standing position for a long time.
  • Injuring a nerve supplying the body part where you feel the
    sensation. If you have a neck injury, for example, you may feel the
    sensation anywhere along your arm or hand. Similarly, a low back injury
    can cause sciatica -- a sensation of numbness or tingling down the back
    of your leg.
  • Lack of blood supply to the area. For example, plaque buildup from
    atherosclerosis in the legs can cause pain, numbness, and tingling
    while walking. (This is called claudication.)
  • Pressure on the spinal nerves, as from a herniated disk.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. This can cause numbness or tingling in your wrist, fingers, hand, or forearm.
  • Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, underactive thyroid, multiple sclerosis, seizures, or migraine headaches.
  • Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in your body.

  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke
  • Certain medications.
  • Toxic action on nerves, such as that from lead, alcohol, or tobacco.
  • Radiation therapy.

Home Care
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The underlying cause of numbness or
tingling should be identified and then treated by your doctor. For
example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or low back pain, certain
exercises may be recommended.

If you have diabetes, your doctor
will discuss ways to control your blood sugars. Medications that cause
numbness or tingling may need to be switched or adjusted. DO NOT make
any changes to your medications without instructions from your doctor.
Low levels of vitamin B-12 will be treated with vitamin supplements.

For multiple sclerosis, these steps can help some of the symptoms:

  • Exercise to maintain muscle tone. Your doctor or physical therapist can guide you and design an appropriate program.
  • Rest and practice relaxation techniques for improved energy level.
  • Avoid temperature extremes.

Because of the decrease in feeling, a
numb hand or foot from any cause may be more prone to accidental
injury. Take care to protect the area from cuts, bumps, bruises, burns,
or other injury.

Call your health care provider if
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Go to a hospital or call 911 if:

  • Weakness or paralysis occurs with numbness or tingling.
  • Numbness or tingling occur just after a head, neck, or back injury.
  • You cannot control the movement of an arm or a leg or you have lost bladder or bowel control.
  • You are confused or have lost consciousness, even briefly.
  • You have slurred speech, change in vision, difficulty walking, or weakness.

Call your doctor if:

  • Numbness or tingling has no obvious cause (like a hand or foot "falling asleep").
  • You have pain in your neck, forearm, or fingers.
  • You are urinating more often.
  • Numbness or tingling is in your legs and worsens when you walk.
  • You have a rash.
  • You have dizziness, vertigo, muscle spasm, or other unusual symptoms.

Please let me know if you need more information. Do remember
to ACCEPT if you find the answer useful; a BONUS and a positive rating would be


Dr. Gupta

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Gaurav Gupta's Post: I was hoping for a more in depth answer than what I've already found on free medical symptom indexes. I'm worried about the possibility of a clot or something. The numbness starts below my right knee. I still have feeling on the bottom of my foot and the back of my calf, but my shin and the top of my foot are completely dead. I have feeling in my skin, like when I touch it I can feel it on the surface but the feeling stays on the surface and it is dead underneath (muscle etc.) I have not been doing excess standing or sitting and I am not injured and I am not on meds.
Expert:  Kerry replied 11 years ago.

Hello Jewel

Numbness is most often caused by impingement of nerves. In the case of the lower leg, I'd have the knee area looked at first and work up from there.

It could be a blood clot as well, but you would most likely have pain in the area. There might be a 'hot spot' somewhere on the leg, usually the calf. A good test is the homan's sign. While sitting point your toes up toward your nose. If there is pain, you may have a blood clot.

There will also be swelling if it's a clot.

The best thing to do to find the cause is to have a physical examination.

If any of the above blood clot symptoms apply to you, I'd get to the ER today. Better to be safe than sorry. If a clot should break loose, it could move up into your brain, heart or lungs and it would fast become a medical emergency.

Hopet that helps!

Kerry, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: 35 years in Nursing: OB/GYN, Peds, Oncology, hospice, Ortho, Neuro, Addiction, Recovery, Geriatrics,
Kerry and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Relist: I want a different opinion.