Most people feel a tingling or burning sensation in their feet occasionally. These sensations in the feet may feel unpleasant, but the cause is not usually serious. However, If the feet or hands tingle often, this may be the result of an underlying condition.
Many causes of tingling feelings can be traced back to a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet are symptoms of this type of nerve injury.
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by a variety of disorders. It is believed that 20 million individuals are affected.
According to Dr. Martin Scurr, if you feeling sensation or tingling in both feet, it suggests you have peripheral neuropathy, a common condition caused by damage to the peripheral nerves which run from the brain and spinal cord to all parts of the body, including the hands and feet.
This damage can disrupt the passage of messages along these nerves, leading to numbness, and burning and tingling sensations.
It can also cause muscle weakness, but this is less common.
More than a quarter of over-65s will develop peripheral neuropathy at some point, with a number of potential causes.
It can occur as the result of spinal problems (for instance, through nerve compression), or as a side-effect of daily medications such as amiodarone (used to treat heart rhythm problems), metronidazole and nitrofurantoin (both prescribed for infections) and phenytoin (an anticonvulsant) — all of which can affect nerve function, according to the doctor.
Peripheral neuropathy can also be a complication of shingles, caused by the herpes zoster virus which travels via the nerves.
However, the main cause is diabetes as a result of high blood sugar levels over time damaging the nerves.
According to the specialist, if you experience any weakness in your legs during the walk followed by pain or having a backache, and/or having any seemingly unrelated health problems, such as diabetes, or take daily drugs, you should speak to your doctor.
Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy can involve a nerve conduction study, where an electrode that produces tiny electrical pulses is placed on the leg, and how well these travel down the nerve is measured.
The treatment for the condition depends on the underlying problem causing it.
Image Credit: iStock