Paresthesia: Find Out Symptoms, Causes And Risks Of This Common Condition

Paresthesia is a condition which everyone must have experienced. Here are some symptoms and risks you must know about this condition.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Feb 10, 2022 13:57 IST
Paresthesia: Find Out Symptoms, Causes And Risks Of This Common Condition

Have you ever felt unusual sensations on your feet or hands like something is crawling on you? Well if you have then you have experienced paresthesia. This is a condition in which you feel different types of sensation on your feet and hands. It could also be like poking with a pin or needle. Paresthesia actually is a temporary disorder that usually resolves without any treatment. If it occurs very frequently, then you may need to get it checked by a doctor. This is exactly the condition where we say that our legs of arms have fallen asleep. So let us understand about this common condition in detail and know symptoms and causes for it. 

Paresthesia Condition

We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to understand this condition in more detail. He told us that almost everyone has experienced condition of paresthesia more than once in their life. It occurs from children to older adults and is very common in people having diabetes or any other blood disorder. 


It is a condition which occurs because of putting pressure over a nerve for longer period of time. When you do not change your position and a particular nerve gets pressure for a period of time, then it results to paresthesia disorder. In most of the condition, it happens for maximum half an hour and then as the nerves are released it gets back to normal. Therefore no treatment is required in this condition.

Symptoms of Paresthesia

There are some other symptoms of paresthesia that happens apart from numbness. You may get these symptoms as part of paresthesia disorder.

  • Tingling
  • Cold
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

These symptoms occur in your hands, arms, legs and feet. The changes of these symptoms getting elevated can be because of chronic paresthesia which is more of a serious problem. This is because chronic paresthesia can cause clumsiness and affect your limb. It can cause stabbing pain in your feet or hands, especially while movement that leads to difficulty in walking. 

Also Read- 5 Lifestyle Tips To Prevent Diabetes If It Runs In Your Family

What causes Paresthesia?

This is a condition where it may seem difficult for you to determine the cause of paresthesia. In temporary paresthesia it is because of feeling pressure on nerves, whereas in permanent or chronic cases, it could be because of problems in blood circulation. Poor circulation of blood in arms or legs can cause this condition, it happens because of sitting in wrong posture or with hands and legs crossed for too long. Chronic paresthesia can also be due to damage of nerves which could be severe health issue and needs immediate medical attention. There are two types of nerve damage, radiculopathy and neuropathy. 

1. Radiculopathy

In this type of nerve damage, the roots of the nerves become compressed. It could also cause irritation and inflammation in the nerves. Radiculopathy can affect you if you have any of these underlying conditions-

  1. Because of herniated disk that puts pressure on the nerve
  2. Result of narrowing of canal that transmits the nerve to your spinal cord
  3. Because of any organ or mass, that could particularly suppress or compress the nerves, especially in cases where it exists the spinal column.


If it affects your lower back, then it is called lumbar radioculopathy. Other than that there are conditions like paresthesia in legs or foot. It could also in cases such as sciatic nerve or because of weakness in your muscles of legs. Cervical radioculopathy can also involve problems such as-

  • Chronic neck pain
  • Paresthesia in upper body
  • Hand weakness
  • Arms weakness

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2. Neuropathy

Another cause of neuropathy can be because of damage in the chronic nerves. This definitely needs medication attention and should be treated to avoid any type of complication. The most common cause because of which paresthesia occurs is because of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar in the body.  However it is not just limited to this, there could be several other health condition that could cause neuropathy in nerves. They are-

  • Kidney diseases
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Repetitive movement injuries
  • Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis
  • Bone marrow disorder
  • Vitamin deficiencies 
  • Infection such as shingles or HIV
  • Condition of hypothyroidism


Risks of Having Paresthesia

Even though this is usually not a severe condition and gets treated on its own in majority of cases, some cases do go in complications stages. You may have some risks if you have chronic paresthesia. Here are some risks that could be problematic to your health-

  1. Having too many alcoholic drinks and having poor diet at the same time. it could lead to vitamin deficiency and dehydration. 
  2. Having any type of diabetes
  3. Because of autoimmune condition
  4. Neurological disorders and conditions
  5. Due to performing the same activity in a repetitive motion which includes compressing of nerves, it could because of typing, playing instrument, sport activities.

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