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Most people have experienced the temporary loss of feeling and tingling in their leg resulting from sitting in an abnormal position for a short while. Usually you get a loss of feeling in your leg while it is being compressed/constricted at some point and then the tingling sensation as the pressure is removed. But what is actually happening? I understand the the blood vessels are probably constricted from the pressure, but how does this lead to loss of feeling and later the strange tingling sensation? Are there any other things that extended compression on the leg does to cause this? What exactly are the requirements to get the sensation of a one's leg or other limb falling tingling in that manner?

{ asked by Gordon Gustafson }


The feeling you describe is called "paresthesia," and according to the NINDS info page, it happens "when sustained pressure is placed on a nerve."

{ answered by Matthew Piziak }