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Causes of Leg Numbness

Updated April 17, 2017

Leg numbness usually occurs because of nerve or muscle damage caused by certain medical conditions or diseases. Numbness can also simultaneously occur with pain, tingling and burning sensations. There are different causes associated with this leg condition and can range from mild to severe. If pain or leg numbness becomes severe, patients should immediately seek medical attention.

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Nerve Entrapment

Nerve entrapment is a common cause of leg numbness. Nerves become compressed from either trauma, cysts, joint swelling or disease. If these conditions are left untreated, nerves can become permanently damaged and patients could lose feeling in their legs. Other symptoms related to nerve entrapment include prickling, tingling sensations and leg pain.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a medical neurological disorder which damages the peripheral nervous system. Leg numbness can happen as a result of this nerve damage. The damage can be caused by sensory, motor or autonomic nerve diseases (or diseases affecting the brain or spinal chord). Leg numbness can also accompany other symptoms such as muscle weakness, bone degeneration and painful cramps.

Leriche's Syndrome

Leriche's syndrome can also cause leg numbness. This medical condition causes a blockage in the heart's terminal aorta. As a result, blood can't flow to lower parts of the body and cuts off blood supply to the legs. Other symptoms affiliated with Leriche's syndrome include extreme fatigue and cold lower legs.

Sitting with Your Legs Crossed

Leg numbness can also happen if you cross your legs or apply pressure to your legs. This type of leg numbness isn't serious and can be easily relieved by standing and walking. This temporary numbness is also accompanied by tingling, prickling sensations.

Buerger's Disease

Buerger's disease inflames the small blood vessels in the legs which causes numbness. This disease can sometimes be painful. It can also cause tingling, burning, foot numbness, foot discolouration and poor leg circulation.

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About the Author

Therese Pope is a copywriter and marketing consultant for her own business, Zenful Communications. Her public health nonprofit background, coupled with her writing background, led her to write about the health and wellness industry. Pope was a blogger for Prevention.com and currently writes a variety of SEO Web content. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University, Chico.

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