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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes a rhythmic sharp tingling sensation in the foot?

Answered by
Dr. Dariush Saghafi


Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2474 Questions

Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: I have a rhythmic single needle prick either in my foot or toe or calf every 5 to 6 seconds
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 59 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Neuropathic pain

Detailed Answer:
Good afternoon and thank you for posing your question to us on this network.

From your description of the problem I can offer you a reasonable explanation to what is causing your discomfort and your symptoms of rhythmic stabbing or needle pricking sensation but I can't tell you WHY unless you provide much more history and medical background in terms of how long has the problem been present, what makes it better and worse. Is is 24/7 or does it come and go. Is it dependent the position of your foot? By lieing on your side or even on your back or belly in a fetal type of position can you reduce or eliminate the sensation. Do you have tight shoes or sandals? Does it change at all within an hour of eating meals....either better or worse? Are you diabetic, taking medications, when is the last time you had labs drawn?

These would be the pertinent questions to answer in order to have a better idea of what types of likely categories of problems you may be looking at as the cause and therefore, what sorts of tests to verify the diagnosis vs. reasonable treatments.

I will describe WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING. You will need to fill in the gaps with either more information of your own or in answer to my questions to get more precise responses.

What you are experiencing are symptoms consistent with a NEUROPATHIC TYPE OF PAIN. Another way to describe this is that you are feeling or having a SENSORY nerve either in the lower back in the lumbar area of the spine....or you may be having a branch of a large nerve terminating in the foot in what are called the DIGITAL NERVES that is undergoing IRRITATION. As a result of this IRRITATION of your nerve (either in the back or in the leg/foot) the response is to cause you to feel discomfort and pain the way you've described.

Irritation to nerves can occur as a result of several mechanisms. Compression, injury by trauma, injury by chemical or toxic means, injury by radiation or electrical damage, injury by lack of adequate vitamins, minerals, or hormones that the body produces such as thyroid, Vitamin D (that's a hormone believe it or not), testosterone, and others.

In order to figure out what's causing your problem you will need a solid neurological examination by someone who will test the function of your nerves in your leg and foot and decide where the problem actually lies (pinched nerve in the back? pinched nerve in the knee? pinched nerve in the ankle/foot?) and then, how best to treat by either FIXING the problem if it's fixable OR giving you the proper medication to blunt, dull, or otherwise, squelch the pain and discomfort.

If I've satisfactorily addressed your question then, could you do me the kindest of favors by CLOSING THIS QUERY and be sure to include some fine words of feedback and a 5 STAR rating to our transaction if you feel the response has helped you? Again, many thanks for posing your question.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 25 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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