Most people frequently experience tingling in one foot or notice a small area on the underside of the foot that may feel numb after exercising or walking. But if these feelings become common, you should be carefully examined by a trained professional because the body uses these symptoms to warn you of serious medical conditions.
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The Mayo Clinic describes sciatica as "Pain that radiates from the lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg ..." The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, and when it is affected by disease or injury, the pain can create a feeling of pins and needles or tingling in various parts of the feet. The Mayo Clinic reports the primary condition must be removed before the tingling will be eliminated.
Morton's neuroma is a condition caused by a growth of nerve tissue, usually between the third and fourth toe. This is where the lateral plantar and medial plantar nerves combine close to the surface of the foot fat pad. The metatarsal ligament is also located in this area, and the impact of walking or running compresses the ligament and the nerve. Surgery is necessary to remove excess tissue to eliminate the feeling of numbness in the foot pad that is created by the compression of the excess tissue.
Diabetics experience swelling and tingling in the feet because of the expansion and contraction of the nerve cells and surrounding layers of tissue. This feeling can be intermittent as the blood sugar rises and falls, or it may be present at all times. Treatment involves diet, drugs and exercise to balance the blood sugar. Once damage has been done to the tissue and nerves, the tingling or numbness can become a permanent condition.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the fatty covering of the nerve fibres in the spinal cord and brain are eaten away by the body's immune system. One of the early symptoms of the disease is a tingling and numbness in the feet and hands during the early damage to the nerve fibres. Once serious damage has occurred, the feet may feel numb or become paralysed. MS is fatal, but drug treatment has been successful in prolonging life.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious illness of the nervous system. A tingling feeling in the feet and hands is usually the first symptom, according to the Mayo Clinic. This feeling expands to other parts of the body and can include paralysis of either the legs or arms. It is accompanied by choking and breathing difficulties. The causes of the condition are unknown and there is no cure, but most people recover fully from the illness.
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