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3 reasons and preventions of feet numb

Numbness in the foot is a common cause of imbalance and can increase your risk of falling. Numbness or a burning sensation in the feet are collectively known as paresthesia. It can result from many causes, and its significance can vary from trivial to life-threatening.

Lack of sensation in the feet is usually caused by a problem in the foot’s nervous and/or vascular systems. Here are some of the more common sources of such problems and their solutions:

Symptom 1

There is a patch of numbness on the sole of one foot. You've been having problems with your eyes and feel so dizzy that you have to stay in bed.


Multiple sclerosis - an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system affecting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. It can wax and wane with almost full recovery between attacks, but it may also get worse.

Stop it

See your doctor for any numbness that doesn't go away. Consult a specialist if necessary for a proper diagnosis.

Symptom 2

Your feet are feeling numb. You feel pain in your calves when you walk any distance. The pain subsides when you stop walking.


Peripheral arterial disease. The pain in your legs when you walk is called 'intermittent claudication' caused by the furring up of the arteries in your legs.

Stop it

See your doctor for a full cardiac check-up. You may also consult a vascular specialist to assess the arteries in your legs.

Symptom 3

You have type-2 diabetes and you're on a special diet. You're getting numbness, tingling and a burning sensation in your feet and lower legs.


Diabetic neuropathy, a kind of nerve damage that affects a range of nerves in some people with diabetes. It needs attention because the numbness can lead to damage that you don't feel.

Stop it

See your doctor for an assessment and to establish if your diabetes can be controlled by diet alone. You may need to take medication.

Have you ever felt your bone has been broken?

Check for that broken bone

Whenever someone has a fall, the first thing you ask them is: "Can you move your arm/leg/finger?", in the belief that you can't move a broken bone.

But this isn't a hard and fast rule. Sometimes you can move a broken bone a little so it doesn't automatically mean there isn't a fracture.

The three classical symptoms of a broken bone are pain, swelling and deformity. If a bone is sticking out or poking through the skin, it's certainly broken and needs urgent medical attention. Another sign is if you heard a 'snap' when the accident happened.

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