leg pain & numbness

9 Reasons For Leg Pain & Numbness

If you’re having leg pain and/or numbness, you want to know the cause.

In some cases, there really isn’t anything to worry about. The pain may go away on its own. However, in other cases, the leg pain and numbness could be a sign of something more serious.

Below, get an overview of the some common reasons (other than an obvious injury to the leg) you may have leg pain and numbness.

9 Reasons For Leg Pain & Numbness


This is basically a fancy term for when your leg falls asleep. It’s due to sitting or having your legs crossed for too long.

It should go away just by moving your leg for a little while. You can prevent it by changing your sitting position and/or not crossing your legs when you sit.

Sciatica / Back Problems

Problems with your back, including sciatica, can cause leg pain and numbness.

It’s due to issues with the sciatic nerve which runs from you lower back down your legs. If this nerve gets pinched, you can feel your leg go numb. People will often say it causes a shooting pain in their leg. It usually just affects one side of the body.

If it’s mild, it can go away on its own. However, if it sticks around for more than a week or starts after you have in injury, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.


Diabetes can lead to nerve damage in the body. Quite often it will start as numbness in your toes and moves up from there. Usually it will be in both feet. You may also experience severe leg pain and muscle weakness.

Multiple Sclerosis

Leg numbness can be an early sign of multiple sclerosis (MS). It often has that “pins and needles” feel.

If you can’t feel your foot, have trouble walking, feel dizzy, have vision problems or other concerning symptoms, should go see a doctor.

Nerve Tumor

This is a rare one, but it is possible. A peripheral nerve tumor that grows near the nerves that control your leg muscles.

Other signs include swelling, muscle weakness or loss of balance. Fortunately, these tumors are usually benign (ie. they’re not cancer).

Peripheral Neuropathy

This is a disorder of the nerves that connect the spinal cord to our muscles, skin and other organs. Usually this is due to diabetes. However, it can be caused by other things like alcoholism.

Electrolyte Imbalance

If you’re levels of electrolytes (minerals including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium) get to low, it can cause an imbalance in the body.

It can be due to dehydration, certain medications and kidney disease. Lower level of electrolytes can cause leg pain.


While arthritis is a joint disease, it can cause pain in the surrounding areas such as the leg and foot.

Blood Vessel Problems

Sometimes leg pain and numbness is due to issues with the blood vessels.

This can happen during exercise and is often a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Or it can happen due to long periods of inactivity (such as a long car ride of flight). This can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a clot in the leg(s) that causes the pain.