How to Stop Numbness in Legs and Feet?

How to Stop Numbness in Legs and Feet

Do you ever experience that tingling sensation or numbness in your legs and feet, as if they’re falling asleep? It’s a common issue that many people face, and while it may seem harmless at first, persistent numbness can indicate underlying health issues that need attention. Whether it’s caused by poor circulation, nerve damage, or lifestyle factors, there are several steps you can take to alleviate and prevent numbness in your lower limbs.

In this guide, we’ll explore the causes of numbness in legs and feet and provide practical tips to help you find relief.

Understanding Numbness in Legs and Feet

Numbness in the legs and feet can manifest in various ways, including tingling, prickling, or a sensation of pins and needles. It often occurs due to temporary compression of nerves or impaired blood flow to the extremities. However, chronic numbness may indicate more serious conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, or vascular problems.

Common Causes of Numbness

Poor Circulation

  • Reduced blood flow to the legs and feet can lead to numbness. This may occur due to sitting or standing in one position for too long, obesity, smoking, or conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Nerve Compression

  • Nerves in the legs and feet can become compressed or pinched, causing numbness. This can happen due to wearing tight shoes, sitting with crossed legs, or conditions like herniated discs in the spine.

Peripheral Neuropathy

  • Damage to the peripheral nerves, often caused by diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or autoimmune diseases, can result in numbness, tingling, and weakness in the extremities.


  • Compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the legs, can cause numbness, pain, and weakness in the legs and feet.


  • Trauma or injuries to the legs, ankles, or feet can lead to nerve damage and subsequent numbness.

How to Stop Numbness in Legs and Feet?

Improve Your Posture

  • Maintain good posture while sitting, standing, and walking to prevent unnecessary pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in your legs and feet.

Move Regularly

  • Avoid sitting or standing in one position for extended periods. Take breaks to stretch and walk around, especially if you have a desk job or engage in activities that require prolonged sitting or standing.


  • Regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can improve circulation and nerve function in your legs and feet. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.


  • Incorporate stretching exercises that target the muscles in your legs and feet to alleviate tension and improve flexibility. Focus on calf stretches, hamstring stretches, and ankle rotations.

Manage Your Weight

  • Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the strain on your legs and feet, improving circulation and reducing the risk of numbness.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

  • Avoid tight, ill-fitting shoes that can constrict blood flow and compress nerves. Opt for supportive footwear with ample room for your toes to wiggle.

Check Your Blood Sugar Levels

  • If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations to manage your condition effectively.

Quit Smoking

  • Smoking narrows blood vessels and impairs circulation, increasing the risk of numbness and other complications. Quitting smoking can improve circulation and overall health.

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain hydration and support healthy blood flow.

Elevate Your Legs

  • When sitting or lying down, elevate your legs slightly to promote blood circulation and reduce swelling.

Warm Up

  • In cold weather, keep your feet warm with socks and avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, which can worsen numbness.


  • Gently massage your legs and feet to stimulate circulation and relieve tension. Use circular motions and moderate pressure, focusing on areas that feel tight or tender.

When to Seek Medical Attention?

While occasional numbness in the legs and feet may not be cause for concern, persistent or severe symptoms warrant medical evaluation. Consult a healthcare professional if you experience any of the following:

  • Numbness that doesn’t improve with self-care measures
  • Numbness accompanied by weakness, loss of balance, or difficulty walking
  • Numbness following a traumatic injury or accident
  • Numbness accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, swelling, or changes in skin color

Your doctor can perform a thorough evaluation, including physical examination, medical history review, and possibly diagnostic tests, to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment.


Numbness in the legs and feet can be uncomfortable and concerning, but it’s often manageable with lifestyle modifications and self-care strategies. By improving circulation, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and addressing any underlying health conditions, you can alleviate numbness and prevent complications. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice for proper evaluation and treatment. Taking proactive steps to care for your legs and feet can help you maintain mobility, comfort, and overall well-being.

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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