Q. What can cause on and off tingling in arms and legs?

Answered by Dr. J Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Hi doctor,

About two and a half months ago, I was at work with one leg tucked under the other in a computer chair. When I got up to use the restroom, I noticed tingling in my lower leg and developed drop foot as a result. My first visit was to a podiatrist and he suggested me to visit a neurologist. The neurologist did not run any scientific test and determined I likely crushed my peroneal nerve and said to return in four to six weeks for physical therapy. About two weeks later, while lying in bed on my side, I noticed my arm tingle a bit and when I got up to shake it out the tingling eventually subsided. But, I have experienced weakness in that arm. Last night while sitting upright on my bed, my left leg began to experience a similar sensation. The limbs are still functional and the tingling does not persist, but it feels weak. The uncertainty due to the lack of scientific testing is weighing very heavily on me and the troubling issue is the onset of additional symptoms which are causing occasional unsettling stomach feelings due to the mental anguish I have been experiencing. Mainly the fact that all of my limbs feel weak are making me very concerned.

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Dr. J Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas
Neuro Surgery, Neurology, Spine Health, Spine Surgery


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your complaints and first of all I should compliment you for having patiently written a thorough history of events. Let us analyze your problems

You have tingling in all four limbs and weakness in all four limbs. That is upper limbs and lower limbs on both sides, but onset on various days.

The next important point which you have told is the mode of onset and the tingling eventually subsided.

The following parameters can be found out only by a clinical examination and they are most important to fix the diagnosis.

  1. The power in various joints.
  2. The sensation across various dermatomes.
  3. The deep tendon reflexes and superficial reflexes.
  4. Both radial pulses.
  5. Both dorsalis pedis pulses.
  6. Blood pressure.

In the same way, need to get at least two investigations, nerve conduction studies and MRI spine.

It can be either a peripheral vascular disease leading to low perfusion or a peripheral neuropathy.

I would strongly recommend as well as request you to consult your neurologist immediately and treat these symptoms as top priority.

Investigations to be done:

1. Nerve conduction studies.
2. MRI spine.

Probable diagnosis:

The symptoms suggest either it could be peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back with the investigation report to a neurologist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist


Thank you doctor,

The neurologists I have seen were able to conduct non-mechanical testing, which basically tested my strength and resistance where I would push against their pressure and pull towards it in other cases. I would like to schedule radiology tests and they informed me that my office had closed. So, I need to wait for 7 to 14 business days after seeing my PCP, which would also be two weeks away from now. So, I have been attempting to bide my time since the initial incident where it was originally just the drop foot. But, the weakness in my other limbs piling up has got me frustrated and unable to focus on daily tasks due to the looming uncertainty. I noticed that you said to consult them immediately. Is a trip to the emergency room a reasonable or suggested course of action? I am just trying to gain as much information as possible to gain an understanding because both of the neurologists I saw did not seem overly concerned. Although the fact that other limbs have experienced weakness for a longer period of time may have changed their priorities of these issues.


Dr. J Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas
Neuro Surgery, Neurology, Spine Health, Spine Surgery


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

As I have mentioned in my first response, The symptoms you experience can be due to two problems.

  1. Low blood circulation due to peripheral vascular disease.
  2. Mild damage to the nerves of your upper and lower extremities due to peripheral neuropathy.

Now, if it is a peripheral neuropathy then you take Vitamin B complex, Zinc and Vitamin C tablets. Most of the symptoms may well be solved by 10 days.

But, if it is a case of low blood circulation then it is imperative that you get treated at once.

Did any of the doctors feel for your pulse, in both right and left wrist and right and left feet. Was the pulse fine in all four extremities?

If your blood pressure was fine and if you have bounding and normal pulses in all four limbs, then there is no need to hurry.

Else, please go to ER (emergency room) at least to have your pulses checked in all four extremities.

Investigations to be done:

1. Examination of pulse.
2. Doppler studies of blood flow in peripheral vessels.
3. Nerve conduction studies.
4. MRI spine.

Probable diagnosis:

1. Peripheral neuropathy.
2. Peripheral vascular disease.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a neurologist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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