Causes of Leg Tingling

Leg Tingling Sensations: The basic causal categories for leg paresthesias and other types of abnormal pain-like leg sensations include:

  • Leg injury (causing an injury to a nerve)
  • Leg nerve conditions
  • Spinal bone conditions
  • Spinal cord conditions
  • Nerve root conditions
  • Peripheral Blood Circulation Disorders
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Systemic diseases (which affect the nerves)

Specific Types: The particular part of the leg that is tingling can be very helpful to identifying the cause:

  • Foot tingling
  • Toe tingling
  • Ankle tingling
  • Lower leg tingling
  • Calf tingling
  • Shin tingling
  • Knee tingling
  • Upper leg tingling
  • Thigh tingling

Back and Spinal Conditions: A spinal injury, back injury or other disorder of the spinal vertebrae may cause an impact on the spinal nerves that innervate the legs. There is often also back pain or spinal pain, although in some cases it is absent. Spinal bone conditions possibly causing leg pain or leg tingling include:

  • Back injury
  • Spinal injury
  • Sciatica (a particular type of shooting back pain going into the legs)
  • Herniated spinal disk (“slipped disc”). Usually it is a lumbar slipped disc rather than one higher up the spine if the pain or sensations occur in the legs.
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Lumbar spondylosis
  • Spinal vertebra fracture
  • Spinal compression fracture
  • Spondylolisthesis (spinal vertebrae displacement)
  • Spinal tumor
  • Spinal disorder
  • Tailbone disorder (coccyx disorder)

Spinal Nerve Conditions: A disorder of the spinal nerves, including the spinal cord and the nerve roots, may cause pain or burning in the legs (the exact location of the pain depends on the location of the nerve condition in the spine):

  • Radiculopathy
  • Spinal cord lesion
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Single sclerosis
  • Cauda equina tumor
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Syringomyelia
  • Spinal cord disorders
  • Tabes dorsalis (tertiary syphilis)
  • Sciatic plexus neuropathy

Leg Nerve Disorders: In addition to the nerves starting at the spinal cord, a disorder or injury to a nerve located in the leg will cause leg pain-like sensations:

Peripheral Circulatory Disorders: A disorder of the peripheral blood circulation can reduce blood flow to the legs causing the nerves to have inadequate blood supply, such as:

  • Peripheral arteriosclerosis
  • Aortoiliac occlusive disease (Leriche syndrome)

Other Causes: Various other causes of leg tingling and/or leg pain include:

Leg Pain Disorders: There are various other disorders of the leg that more commonly cause leg pain, rather than leg tingling, but in some cases there may be some need to distinguish between them. Examples include:

There are many other possible causes of leg pain. Read more about: Leg Pain

Similar Symptoms: See also the causes of these related and similar symptoms for leg tingling:

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.