Tingling in Hands and Feet: The Reasons

Although it may not indicate a serious condition, if you’re experiencing tingling in your hands and feet you should see a specialist to rule out more serious problems.
Tingling in Hands and Feet: The Reasons
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 13 January, 2023

It’s likely that on more than one occasion you feel tingling after sitting too long with your legs crossed. Usually, this is a common thing and nothing to worry about. However, if you feel tingling in your hands and feet on a regular basis, you should pay attention to it.

It’s not normal to experience this feeling continuously. So, if this is the case, you should write down your symptoms and visit your doctor.

Here are the most common reasons for tingling in the hands and feet.

Reasons for tingling in hands and feet

A pinched nerve in your neck or back

Neck massage
Poor sleeping position or a sports injury can pinch a nerve in your neck or back (and other parts of your body). This, as stated in this study done by Clínica Las Condes in Chile.

Although it’s not a severe problem, it can make your hands and feet tingle. Besides, your shoulder might be numb or painful in certain positions.

So, it’s important to take care of this problem quickly because it could lead to a more serious condition like arthritis.

While there are medications that can help you deal with the pain, it’s best to work with a physical therapist to relax the area and get the nerve back in place.

Also, one important thing to remember is never to try to fix the problem yourself through massage or unsupervised exercises. You could cause more serious damage due to your lack of knowledge.

We think you may also like to read this article: How Can You Improve the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Vitamin B12 deficiency

So, do your hands and feet tingle? A vitamin B12 deficiency could be your problem according to this study from Oregon State University. It could lead to anemia due to an inability to produce red blood cells.

Therefore, if this is your problem, you’ll also experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness when exercising or standing up
  • Pale skin
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Depression

So, take a look at your diet and start making some necessary changes. Also, the first thing you should do is to eat more foods that are rich in vitamin B12, such as:

  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Seafood
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Lamb
  • Liver
  • Tuna
  • Trout

This deficiency is very common among those who are vegan or vegetarian.

Could this be you? Did you change your diet dramatically and now you feel tingling in your hands and feet? In that case, you should add:

  • Cereals (including cereal bars)
  • Tofu
  • Soy and soy products
  • Powdered milk

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Why Do You Feel Tingling in the Hands and Feet?
The repetitive motion and vibrations can cause the nerves of your wrist to become compressed,

Do you spend too much time sending messages on your smartphone or typing on the computer? The repetitive motion and vibrations can cause the nerves of your wrist to become compressed, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome and tingling in the hands as stated in this study by the Complejo Hospitalario de Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain.

What you can do is:

  • Firstly, rest your hands. Take short breaks every half hour to an hour. During this time, change the position of your hands, rotate them, and open and close your palms.
  • Then, if possible, take the opportunity to do some stretching exercises with your shoulders to relax the whole body.
  • Finally, make sure you have the correct posture. If you work at a desk you should ensure your hands are placed in the right position. You can achieve this by choosing a desk that’s not too high or low and the right desk chair.

Diabetes causes tingling in the hands and feet

So, if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or a resistance to insulin, then it’s important that you pay attention to high blood glucose levels. This is because blood glucose is toxic to your nerves and can lead to tingling in your hands and feet.

Unfortunately, if this toxicity isn’t treated, it could result in diabetic nephropathy and a continued increase in blood glucose levels. This is according to a study by The Hormone Foundation.

A person testing their blood glucose.
Make sure to do periodic ALC (glycated hemoglobin) tests to indicate your real blood glucose level for the past three months.

So, if you’re diabetic we recommend:

  • Firstly, do periodic ALC (glycated hemoglobin) tests to indicate your real blood glucose level for the past three months.
  • Then, maintain strict control of your diabetes to avoid spikes in blood glucose.
  • Keep a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Finally, exercise to maintain proper muscle function.


A thyroid gland that doesn’t work properly can cause tingling, fatigue, sensitivity to cold temperatures, weight gain, dry skin, and hair loss among others, according to this information obtained by the Mayo Clinic.

Have you noticed all of these symptoms in the last few months? If so, you should see your doctor as soon as possible because the problem will only worsen if you don’t follow the correct treatment.

Your doctor will order a blood test to check the status of your thyroid gland. And, we recommend that you follow their treatment regime religiously to avoid any future complications.

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Multiple sclerosis leads to tingling in the hands and feet

Why Do You Feel Tingling in the Hands and Feet?
Multiple sclerosis can cause numbness and difficulty moving your arms and legs.

Multiple sclerosis occurs more often in women than in men, according to this study carried out by the Universidad Veracruzana. However, this condition has no known cause yet. So, the most common symptoms, according to information obtained by the National Library of Medicine of the USA, in addition to tingling in the hands and feet, are:

  • Problems with balance
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving your arms and legs
  • Double vision
  • An itching sensation
  • Trouble concentrating

If the tingling in your hands and feet is about multiple sclerosis, you need to work along with your doctor. This is because there are several organs that are affected by this disorder, and you can’t just improve one symptom without taking the rest into account.

Now that you know some of the common causes of tingling in hands and feet, it’s time to see if your problem is something that’s just temporary, or if your body is telling you that something is wrong with your health.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.