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Feeling of pins and needles on legs. What could be the reason?

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Why do i get pins and needles in my left leg/foot when I go to the toilet
Posted Tue, 19 Jun 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sairajesh Koonamsetty 2 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
Paraesthesias ( altered sensation like feeling of pins and needles in your case) is a common problem experienced while going to toilet especially in case of elderly or obese or people who are too thin.
The feeling of pins and needles in lower limbs when someone goes to toilet is due to the decreased blood supply to the lower part of leg.
When someone sits on the toilet pan, the whole body weight is taken by your hip region and the edge of the toilet seat exerts pressure on the back of your thigh.
If pressure is exerted on the blood vessels, the blood vessels kink and the blood supply to the part below it ( lower leg and feet) is reduced leading to a state of transient ischemia. The sensory nerve endings in the ischemic region become hypersensitive and result in paraesthesias ( pins and needles). Once you get up from the toilet, the pressure on the blood vessels is reduced and the circulation gets restored and the paraesthesias would gradually subside.

You might have been putting more weight on the left side of your body and hence you have been experiencing paraesthesias of left leg and foot.
Do not worry. Nothing is wrong with you as you dont seem to have similar complaints while performing other activities. Just changing the way you sit on the toilet seat should help you. In case if you have similar complaints while performing other activities as well, then alternative possibilities have to be ruled out.

Hope you got the answer you were looking for.
Feel free to ask doubts if any. I shall be glad to answer them.
Wish you a healthy life.
Take care.

Dr Sai XXXXXXX Koonamsetty
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