Health: Tingling hands and feet

Many people regularly suffer from tingling hands and feet. We also call it as if that body part is “sleeping” and is “waking up” through a movement. The feet still “sleep” a little more often than the hands, but it is a strange feeling. The control is gone and you cannot “use” that body part for a while. Although it is often innocent, there is sometimes a cause that needs to be looked for more explicitly. But when do you know whether it is very innocent or whether you need to deal with it?

What is it?

In fact, everyone has experienced that their hand or foot is asleep and when this part of the body wakes up, it gives a feeling as if needles are being inserted into that part of the body and other people experience it as a body part suddenly becoming warmer. As mentioned, you cannot use that part of the body for a while, because the tingling causes an irritating numbness. For some people the tingling sensation occurs within a few seconds and for others it takes just a little longer.

What is the cause?

Various causes can be identified.

  • In most cases you get sleeping hands or feet if you have not used your hand or foot at all.
  • Sometimes it is the overload of a hand or foot that plays a role in tingling.
  • Furthermore, the pinching of a nerve can play an important role. Normally there is a reason for this. In the case of the hands, for example, think of the frequent use of the computer mouse (this type of case almost always occurs in connection with frequent performance of identical actions).
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is also known, which causes tingling. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve (the median nerve) at the wrist. Women suffer from this more than men and it is thought that the hormone is related.
  • Furthermore, trauma to that body part can also lead to tingling.
  • Osteoarthritis is also a condition that can cause tingling.
  • During the cold months, we sometimes see tingling in some people and this may be related to a vascular disorder (Renaud’s syndrome, usually affecting the fingers and sometimes also the toes).
  • Diabetes is a disease that can also cause tingling.
  • It is less known that alcoholism can also cause tingling.
  • A B12 deficiency can also lead to tingling, especially in vegetarians. B12 can also occur in non-vegetarians.
  • Tingling specifically in the feet can also be related to a hernia.
  • Finally, sagging feet can also lead to tingling in the forefoot.

What can you do about it?

Usually it is not serious and if you shake your hand or foot well everything will start again and you will get rid of it quickly. However, if you suffer from it frequently, it may be useful to contact your doctor, because then it could be a symptom of something else. In that case, it is useful to keep track of how often, especially when you are bothered by it and whether it is in specific places. What may also help with the doctor’s consultation is that you indicate your state of mind at the time you suffered from the tingling sensation. The vast majority of issues can be resolved with the help of your GP or a specialist.

An alternative?

If you prefer or would also like to explore the alternative circuit for tingling, you can also contact a foot reflexology therapist. It is preferable not to exclude conventional medicine, but let it go together if desired.


In most cases, the hand or foot that is not being used plays a role when you suffer from tingling. In that case it will be over soon, but it can happen with some regularity. However, if you have any doubts or are just not sure about it, it makes sense to discuss it with your doctor. For example, in the case of a pinched nerve, if you continue to walk around with it for a longer period of time, it can lead to damage that can no longer be repaired.