Not what you're looking for? CLICK HERE INSTEAD

Right foot goes to sleep then feels almost unbearable pain.

by Lauren
(Alabama USA)

I have been having issues with my right foot going to sleep. It goes numb and as feeling comes back it feels like a hundred pins and needles are poking me all over my foot. It's been getting more frequent. I don't remember feeling this much pain when my feet return feeling. Afterward the feeling comes back and pain goes away it becomes cooler than the other foot. Do I need some vitamins or do I need to see a doctor?


Hi Lauren,

I would recommend you see a doctor as quickly as possible.

My reason for saying this is that one of the possibilities for the source of your symptoms is a possible blood clot in one of the arteries that goes into your foot.

In a worse case scenario you might have a what is known as an arterial embolism which means you have a blood clot, probably further up in the leg where the arteries are larger (then those in the foot).

So periodically, the clot partially blocks the blood flow into your foot and you will get the pins and needle effect along with the coolness in the affected foot. You may also notice a color difference between both feet with the affected foot being more pale in color.

The problem here, if it is a clot, is the concern about the clot breaking off and traveling down the leg and eventually becoming stuck in an area where the artery has narrowed. If this were to happen, it would completely cut off the circulation to the foot and as you can imagine, that cannot be good. It is then considered a medical emergency.

Now, there are other conditions that will also cause this type of symptom in your right foot. They are usually neurological in origin and are not as potentially dangerous.

The problem for me is that I am sitting on the other side of the internet and cannot examine you, so I feel it is necessary to raise the worst possible scenario with you and strongly suggest you see a doctor who can evaluate your problem and determine if it is serious or not.

If you are a smoker, if you are over-weight, if you are on certain medications, if you suffer from high blood pressure or some other systemic diseases like blood disorders, if you are over 40 years of age, these are all factors that could contribute to an arterial embolism.

Since I know nothing about you or your medical history I feel it is necessary to warn you about the worst possible case scenario and encourage you to seek medical attention to find out the actual cause of your symptoms in your right foot.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the doctor.