Did you ever experience tingling sensation in your left leg? Tingling feels like pricking of pins or needles, or ants crawling beneath the skin.
The causes for tingling in left leg can vary from your sitting position to injuries that affect the nerves. Tingling in your left leg can often be due to long-term sitting with crossed legs.
Let us look at the causes of tingling feeling in the left leg in detail.
What Causes Tingling in Left Leg?
Tingling occurs as a result of an obstruction in blood flow or pressure on nerves in your legs. Different physiological conditions are responsible for blood flow obstruction or pressure on nerves.
You should first identify if the tingling sensation in your left leg is transient or constant.
1. Transient or Temporary Tingling in Left Leg
In the case of temporary tingling, the feeling may come and go without any severe pain or other symptoms. You experience transient tingling in the leg when the nerve gets pressurized.
Sitting in one position for a long time can exert pressure on the nerve which leads to tingling in your left leg.
Other conditions that can cause a transient tingling sensation in your legs include:
- Ischemic attack
- Panic attack
- Whiplash or temporary problems of blood circulation
2. Constant Tingling in the Leg
Constant tingling is a sporadic tingling that occurs too often. There are many physiological reasons associated with constant tingling in the left leg.
Following are some of the reasons for constant tingling:
- Blood Circulation
Less blood circulation to your legs can cause tingling. People above the age of 40 or those diagnosed with atherosclerosis or angina, may experience constant tingling in the left leg (1).
- Skin Ailments
Injury or infection in the skin due to burns, frostbite, HIV or Lyme disease can also cause a tingling sensation. In burns and frostbite, the skin feels painful, and there is a tingling sensation when blood circulates through the affected area.
- Neuropathic Disorders
Neuropathy refers to damage or deterioration of nerves. Nerves can get damaged due to injury, seizure or hereditary diseases like Denny-Brown’s Syndrome, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or an acute porphyria.
The damaged nerves can be a part of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or peripheral nervous system. Such damaged nerves may cause tingling or numbness in the respective body parts including arms or legs.
- Nutrition Deficiency
Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in our body. Some of the nutrients like Vitamin B12, sodium, potassium and calcium are vital for nervous and muscular functions. Tingling or numbness can be a check point for abnormality in the levels of vitamins and minerals in the body.
It is a condition in which the largest and longest nerve, the sciatic nerve in the body gets pressurized (2). In most cases, sciatica occurs due to protruding or herniated disc in the spine.
In slipped disc, you experience tingling and sometimes a sharp pain in buttock or legs which radiates down one side of the body mostly the left side.
- Atherosclerosis and Peripheral Artery Disease
Atherosclerosis is a condition that occurs when plaque builds up in your arteries (3). It affects the blood flow in legs, arms, pelvis or other body parts. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is also a kind of atherosclerosis (4).
If the plaque is present in one of the arteries of your legs, the restricted blood flow to legs causes numbness and tingling in left leg below the knee.
- Multiple sclerosis
In multiple sclerosis, the myelin sheath that covers and protects your nerves is attacked by the immune system (5). Due to this, the connection between the brain and the affected nerve is deteriorated.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis involve impaired walking or standing. In the worst case, multiple sclerosis can lead to partial or complete paralysis. Most people with multiple sclerosis experience numbness or tingling sensation.
- Autoimmune Disorders
Systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis are the two autoimmune diseases in which you may experience a tingling sensation in the leg.
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome causes pain, burning or a tingling sensation along the tibial nerve of the feet (6). The tibial nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve which enters the tarsal canal to reach the feet.
The tibial nerve can get pressurized due to injury or seizure and lead to pain and tingling sensation in the ankle. The pain may radiate to calf region from the ankle.
- Muscle Cramps
A muscle cramp leaves a sharp pain or a tingling sensation in your leg. The underlying reasons of muscle cramps are many like less blood supply, nutrient deficiency, medications, injury or too much of exercise.
- Injury to the Leg
An injury to the leg that hampers the nerves and circulatory functions can lead to pain and tingling sensation. Fracture or stretched muscles can put pressure on the nearby nerves and cause tingling and pain.
- Other causes
Some other diseases such as gout, thrombosis or varicose veins which damage the nerves can also cause tingling in the legs.
How to Treat Tingling in Left Leg?
Let’s look into some effective home remedies that can help treat tingling in the left leg and its avoid recurrence.
1. Maintain Correct Posture
Incorrect posture usually puts stress on muscles, joints, and nerves. It can cause pain in the back or legs and tingling sensation or numbness in left leg below the knee in legs or arms. So you should maintain a right posture in your routine.
Yoga is very well known for soothing body and mind. Regular practice of yoga can help in improving blood circulation and gives relief from the numbness and tingling sensation.
3. Keep Moving
When we sit in the same position for a long time, we may put pressure on the nerves of the legs. Hence, move around at regular intervals to avoid tingling in left leg and arm.
Working sedentarily for long hours reduces the efficiency of muscles and weakens them. You must take rest for few minutes or just lie down.
Avoid lying down in the same position for a long time or again you may experience left leg tingling when lying down.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
If constant tingling in the left leg is due to vitamin and mineral deficiency, you need to increase your vitamin intake. Eat foods rich in vitamins. Vitamin B complex supplements can also help. However, consult your doctor for the diagnosis and for taking vitamin supplements.
Include magnesium in your diet which can help enhance blood circulation and gives relief from numbness and tingling sensations.
Excessive coffee consumption reduces the blood flow and leads to numbness and tingling sensation. Therefore, avoid coffee consumption.
6. Maintain Blood Sugar Level
Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a symptom of diabetes. Thus, keeping track of the sugar intake to control the blood sugar level. It may help prevent the numbness or tingling in the leg.
When to Seek Medical Help?
Observe your symptoms clearly and find out whether the tingling is transient or constant. If the tingling sensation occurs too often and does not go away, you must consult your doctor.
Sometimes the tingling in left leg can be associated with:
- Pain in other body parts
- Muscle spasm
- Lack of coordination
- Changes in vision
- Weakness along with tingling in the left leg
When you experience the above symptoms along with the left leg tingling, you must immediately consult your doctor to diagnose the underlying cause.