What are the causes of tingling and cramping in the feet?

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What are the causes of tingling and cramping in the feet?
Tingling, cramping feet may signal a serious medical condition. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jesse Millan)

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tingling, cramping feet may signal a serious medical condition. If changes in habits and weight loss do not ease these sensations, consider exploring other causes and remedies with your doctor.

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Circulation

Diabetic neuropathy stems from decreased blood flow leading to nerve death, which can cause tingling and cramping in the feet. Diseases and infections that cause inflammation of blood vessels (called vasculitis) trigger scar tissue formation in vessels, interfering with circulation and resulting in tingling and cramping in the lower extremities.

Entrapment

According to the Merck Medical Library, rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Pressure from nearby swelling triggers tingling in the feet. Keeping feet elevated may ease symptoms, but a doctor may suggest surgery in chronic cases.

Injury

Paresthesia and cramping from traumatic nerve compression can develop immediately after an accident involving spinal injuries or broken legs and feet. Scar tissue around nerves and arthritis in the spinal column or feet can trigger abnormal sensations and muscle spasms years later, explains the NIH.

Nutrition

Calcium is important for muscle contractions and nerve transmission. Calcium deficiencies can cause muscle cramps and tingling but may signal kidney failure, vitamin D deficiency and hypoparathyroidism (decreased functioning of the parathyroid gland), according to the NIH.

Hormones

Disturbances in hormone levels can cause swollen feet and ankles, placing pressure on nerves. Swelling also interferes with blood flow to muscles, resulting in cramps from lactic acid build-up and poor oxygenation.

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