What causes tingling sensations and what should I do about it?

Symptom Database

Tingling sensations can be quite uncomfortable and often leave us wondering what could be causing them. Whether it’s tingling in our hands and feet, or a tingling sensation in other parts of our body such as the legs, fingers, head, face, back, or arms, it’s important to understand the underlying causes and what steps we can take to alleviate these sensations.

Causes of Tingling Sensations

There are several potential causes for tingling sensations in different parts of the body. Understanding these causes can help us identify the appropriate course of action to address the issue. Some common causes include:

1. Nerve Compression

Tingling sensations in the hands and feet can often be attributed to nerve compression. This occurs when nerves are pinched or compressed, leading to tingling, numbness, and sometimes pain. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica can cause nerve compression.

2. Poor Circulation

Inadequate blood flow to certain body parts can result in tingling sensations. Poor circulation can be caused by various factors, including sitting or standing in one position for extended periods, obesity, smoking, or underlying medical conditions such as peripheral artery disease.

3. Vitamin Deficiencies

Deficiencies in certain vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, can lead to tingling sensations. This is because these vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining healthy nerve function. A lack of vitamin B12 can cause peripheral neuropathy, which manifests as tingling in the hands and feet.

4. Anxiety and Stress

Emotional factors such as anxiety and stress can also contribute to tingling sensations. When we experience high levels of stress or anxiety, our body releases stress hormones that can affect nerve function and lead to tingling sensations.

What Should I Do About It?

Now that we have a better understanding of the potential causes of tingling sensations, let’s explore some steps we can take to address this issue:

1. Identify the Underlying Cause

If you’re experiencing tingling sensations, it’s important to try and identify the underlying cause. Consider factors such as recent injuries, prolonged periods of sitting or standing, vitamin deficiencies, or emotional stress. Identifying the cause can help guide your next steps.

2. Improve Circulation

If poor circulation is suspected, there are several measures you can take to improve blood flow. These include regular exercise, avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and wearing compression socks or stockings.

3. Address Vitamin Deficiencies

If a vitamin deficiency is suspected, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional. They can perform tests to determine your vitamin levels and recommend appropriate supplements or dietary changes to address the deficiency.

4. Manage Stress and Anxiety

Since stress and anxiety can contribute to tingling sensations, it’s crucial to find healthy ways to manage these emotions. This can include practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, regular physical activity, and seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.

5. Seek Medical Advice

If tingling sensations persist or worsen, it’s advisable to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can conduct a thorough evaluation, perform any necessary tests, and provide a proper diagnosis. They may recommend further treatment options or refer you to a specialist if needed.


Tingling sensations can be uncomfortable and concerning, but understanding their causes and taking appropriate action can help alleviate these symptoms. Whether it’s addressing nerve compression, improving circulation, addressing vitamin deficiencies, managing stress and anxiety, or seeking medical advice, there are steps we can take to find relief. Remember, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. By taking proactive steps, we can effectively manage tingling sensations and improve our overall well-being.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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