Numb Feet: Is It Multiple Sclerosis? Or Something Else?

There are lots of reasons for feet numbness, whether you’ve MS. Knowing you’ve MS, your disease is easily the most likely offender, but there are more potential causes.

Numbness from the face, body, or extremities (legs and arms) is among the most typical signs and symptoms of multiple scelerosis (MS), and may occur very early throughout the condition, based on the National Ms Society.

But numb or tingling ft could be caused by a few conditions apart from MS, most of which may be treatable or reversed. Which means that while MS may be behind what’s happening inside your ft, you shouldn’t assume this is actually the situation. And often, numb ft could be a manifestation of an undiagnosed condition – like diabetes or perhaps a nutrient deficiency – that needs urgent treatment.

Here are the most typical reasons for numb or tingling ft, with some from the signs that could point toward one condition or any other. It’s worth noting that just a physician can determine what’s causing your feet signs and symptoms, and you ought to report any alterations in sensation inside your ft (or elsewhere within your body) for your specialist or primary care physician.


If you’ve recently been identified as having MS, chances are that’s why you have your ft to feel numb, unless of course you’re showing apparent indications of another condition.

“It could be human instinct for somebody with MS to state, ‘My ft are numb. It should be the MS,’” states Michael Polydefkis, MD, a specialist and peripheral neuropathy specialist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Clinic in Baltimore. “And playing the chances, they could be right more often than not.”

In case your feet numbness or tingling is because MS, the feeling will frequently spread your leg over days to days included in a relapse, based on Nancy Nealon, MD, a specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New You are able to City.

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Another telltale sign that MS is probably the offender is that if you have weakness within the same area as the numbness or perhaps in your opposite feet. “People with MS might have more weakness somewhere and much more numbness alternatively,” Dr. Nealon notes.

To assist see whether your feet signs and symptoms come from MS, Nealon states, your specialist will likely provide you with a physical examination that measures your reaction to vibration and temperature changes in the region. Your physician will should also look at your reflexes, which are more inclined to have MS than other potential reasons for numb ft.

Certain signs and symptoms often leads your physician to think about conditions apart from MS. “Often it’s the localization of in which the discomfort is” that points toward another thing, states Nealon, since MS rarely causes sensation alterations in only one part of the feet, like the heel or great toe.

It is also rare, Nealon states, for MS to result in sensation changes only if you place weight in your feet or put on certain footwear.


Over fifty percent of people that have diabetes develop some type of neuropathy, or lack of nerve function, based on the Mayo Clinic. Diabetes is among the most typical reasons for peripheral neuropathy, which could cause numbness, weakness, and discomfort, typically in the possession of and ft.

Sometimes, notes Dr. Polydefkis, peripheral neuropathy could be a manifestation of undiagnosed diabetes – and unlike what many people believe, its not necessary to possess diabetes for many years or perhaps many years to develop neuropathy.

Based on Nealon, if you are seeing an MS specialist, odds are you’re already undergoing regular screening that will identify a probable situation of diabetes. But it’s worth asking relating to this if you are unsure your physician is routinely checking your bloodstream glucose level.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Certain vitamin along with other nutrient deficiencies may cause peripheral neuropathy. The most typical of those, states Polydefkis, is really a b12 deficiency.

“If someone with MS is b12 deficient but it’s missed, that might be a large mistake because that’s something are going to something about,” he notes. “If it’s ignored and it is not selected up, it might cause harm that may not be reversible.”

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Nutrient deficiencies might also lead to your risk for neuropathy for those who have diabetes. Inside a study printed in March 2017 within the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, researchers discovered that among individuals with diabetes type 2, individuals with peripheral neuropathy tended to possess lower bloodstream amounts of folate and b12 than individuals without neuropathy.

But Nealon cautions that you simply shouldn’t increase any B nutritional vitamin supplements not understanding the reason for your neuropathy, since excessive vitamin B6 can really cause physical neuropathy.

Thyrois Issues

Getting an hypothyroidism, referred to as hypothyroidism, may cause or lead to peripheral neuropathy, based on Polydefkis. “Lots of individuals with diabetes also provide hypothyroidism,” he notes, and also the two conditions may go together to improve the chance of feet signs and symptoms.

Alcohol Consumption

“Alcohol is really a well-established reason for peripheral neuropathy,” Polydefkis notes, however it takes greater than a couple of drinks every week with this to become a likely element in feet signs and symptoms. Based on your size, he states, getting a minimum of 2 to 4 drinks every day could place you in danger of neuropathy.

Heavy consuming may also cause or lead to poor eating routine, putting you in danger of dietary deficiencies that may further improve your neuropathy risk.

Cardiovascular Problems

Based on Polydefkis, getting a cluster of cardiovascular problems can result in peripheral neuropathy, even when these problems may not make the symptom by itself. “If you’ve somebody with borderline diabetes, and they’ve high cholesterol levels and bloodstream pressure, plus they smoke, individuals people can be cultivated peripheral neuropathy,” he states.

Spinal-cord Issues

Numerous spine-related issues may cause numb ft, based on Polydefkis. Probably the most apparent could well be MS, which could cause lesions around the spinal-cord, but it’s vital that you keep your other potential causes in your mind.

Just like a b12 deficiency, too little copper may cause spinal-cord problems, Polydefkis notes, just like a tumor, abscess, or any other mass growing in the region. If you are getting imaging of the spine done in your routine MS appointments, it should not be difficult to identify any growths in the region.

Pinched Nerves

Once the posterior tibial nerve – which supplies sensation to the foot of the feet – becomes compressed, it’s referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome, based on Johns Hopkins Medicine. Causes can include swelling from the ankle sprain illnesses like diabetes and joint disease that induce swelling and nerve compression in the region flat ft or fallen arches or spider veins, cysts, inflamed tendons, or bone spurs.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome may cause sensations of numbness, tingling, and burning in addition to shooting discomfort. It may be identified as having an actual exam and imaging, and both nonsurgical and surgical procedure choices are available, based on its severity.

Shoe Problems

Sometimes simply putting on footwear which are too tight may cause or considerably lead to numbness inside your ft.

Additionally, “If somebody can’t feel their ft any longer, I let them know constantly to become careful what footwear they put on,” Nealon notes. She recommends searching for footwear that offer good support but aren’t overweight, with no limited areas with enough room for just about any brace that you simply put on.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is really a rare disorder in which the body’s defense mechanisms attacks the nerves, based on the Mayo Clinic. Its early signs and symptoms typically include weakness and tingling sensations within the ft and legs, which could spread and paralyze the human body. (Weakness to begin paralysis may be the hallmark feature of the condition.)

Guillain-Barré syndrome frequently develops carrying out a microbial or viral infection, although its cause is unknown. Doctors use a mix of health background and a number of nerve tests to identify it.


Sudden numbness or weakness hard, arm, or leg, particularly somewhere from the body, could be a characteristic of a stroke, based on the Cdc and Prevention (CDC). It might be supported by other stroke signs and symptoms, including sudden confusion or trouble speaking, sudden difficulty seeing in either eyes, sudden trouble walking, or sudden severe headache.

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Stroke is really a medical emergency, if you or another person is getting these signs and symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Drug Negative Effects

Almost one-third of individuals with Aids or AIDS experience some peripheral nerve damage because of the virus itself or drugs employed for treatment, based on the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. Signs and symptoms can include numbness or perhaps a lack of perspective of toes and soles from the ft, in addition to burning, stiffness, prickling, and tingling. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), or “d-drugs”, are most frequently associated with peripheral neuropathy. Hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea), a cancer drug that also may help certain anti-Aids drugs are more effective, can also increase the chance of peripheral neuropathy.

Those who are undergoing treatment for cancer might also experience chemotherapy-caused peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Some types of chemotherapy modify the physical nerves within the ft and hands, causing numbness, tingling, and discomfort in fingers and toes, based on Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Frostbite takes place when the skin and underlying tissues freeze, usually because of contact with cold, windy weather, based on the Mayo Clinic. After the skin becomes cold and red, it begins to feel numb and difficult and appear pale. Frostbite is typical around the fingers and toes. Frostnip, a gentle type of frostbite, may also result in numbness. If you see indications of frostbite, look for a location to warm-up once you can.

Should you aren’t sure what’s causing your numb ft, the very best factor to complete is to speak with your doctor or specialist, who are able to correctly identify let’s say any condition causes the issue.

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