Healthy legs are responsive and pain-free. In some circumstances, though, you may experience numbness in this part of your body. Numbness in the legs is not necessarily a life-threatening condition. There are many causes of leg numbness, many of which can be addressed simply and easily.
What should Bergen County, New Jersey readers know about leg numbness?
In general, numbness tends to be caused by the irritation, compression, or damage of nerves in the periphery of your body. It is rare that numbness is associated with a life threatening disorder, but it is not a symptom that should be ignored. If you experience leg numbness, keep track of your other symptoms and report them to your doctor. He or she can help you determine the root cause of the problem.
In some cases leg numbness can be a sign of a herniated disk. A herniated disk occurs when damage is done to the disks that separate the bones of the spine. Large nerves branch out from the spinal cord between these disks. If a disk is damaged, it can put pressure on these nerves, causing patients to experience pain or numbness. Excessive use of alcohol or tobacco can cause damage to nerves, leading to numbness. A lower back injury may also cause numbness or tingling in the leg. Talk to your doctor about this numbness for guidance on how best to treat this problem.
Leg numbness and the circulatory system
Numbness in the legs can be a result of poor circulation. If blood cannot efficiently circulate through your legs, tingling and numbness can result. You may have noticed that if you sit in a cramped position, your legs “fall asleep,” leading to tingling and numbness. This is a result of poor circulation.
Problems in the circulatory system are also associated with varicose veins. These veins occur when cell wall elasticity deteriorates to the point where blood is not effectively transported back to the heart. Instead, it pools back into the veins in the leg, causing swelling and bulging varicose veins. Some patients report numbness in the leg around a varicose vein.
When to worry about leg numbness
In the vast majority of cases, leg numbness is not a symptom of a life threatening condition. However, there are a few situations where you should seek immediate medical help if numbness is present. Go to the hospital or call an ambulance if your numbness is accompanied by paralysis, a lack of control over leg movement, a loss of consciousness, slurred speech, difficulty walking, or a change in vision. You should also contact a medical professional if the numbness occurs immediately after a head, neck, or back injury.
If your leg numbness is a symptom of a varicose vein, it is not a medical emergency. However, this sort of vein disease is associated with potentially dangerous complications, including deep vein thrombosis and venous stasis ulcers. This problem can be addressed by working with a leading vein doctor like Dr. John Chuback.
Dr. Chuback and the team of spider vein specialists here at Chuback Medical Group have a number of vein disease treatments at their disposal to help eliminate the symptoms of varicose veins, including numbness. If you are worried about any of the symptoms of vein disease, get in touch with our office to set up a consultation. Leg numbness is rarely a sign of a life threatening issue, but that does not mean your only option is to live with it.