Why do our feet fall asleep?

Why do our feet fall asleep is a question that can assail us in bed, while doing sports, in the middle of a long wait in line at the cinema or driving . The origin of this pathology is multifactorial, and may be due to endocrine/metabolic, biomechanical, neuritic, vascular problems…
We present a brief summary of the most common causes of why our feet fall asleep

1. Vascular or circulatory problems

Either due to a superficial or deep venous vascular alteration, or due to an arterial vascular alteration, this symptom can be produced. In case of being venous, a vascular ecstasy with edema can cause a compressive phenomenon that affects the loco-regional nerve roots, whose compression will give the face a tingling sensation. In case of being arterial, a poor vascularization of an area that demands a blood supply, can also cause tingling due to a decrease in the nutritional contribution to the intervening muscles.

2. Nervous problems

An alteration in the nerve roots of the lower spine (lumbar spine) with greater or lesser involvement of the sciatic nerve, can produce these paresthesias or anesthesia in the feet.

3. Kidney/endocrine/metabolic problems

A decrease in electrolytes in the blood, or minerals such as Na (Sodium) and/or K (Potassium) can present with this feeling of numbness in the feet.

4. Neuritic phenomena

The irritation of a nerve, most frequently due to some external compressive factor such as footwear (or internal, such as fascial compartment syndrome of the distal end of the legs caused by a biomechanical alteration and/or lack of stretching) refers to symptoms of a nervous as numbness, tingling, heaviness, irritation, etc.

5. Systemic diseases

Diabetes is the great enemy of the foot, and whether it is the acquired type II (which shows its face in adulthood), or the congenital type I (which is already present from the first years of the patient’s life), carries with it decreased sensation in the feet, accompanied by numbness or tingling in a large percentage of patients with the disease in advanced stages.

6. Drugs

Like those related to chemotherapy, they could also cause our feet to fall asleep.