Why Are My Legs Tingling After My Run?

A runner is stretching her legs.
Image Credit: nd3000/iStock/Getty Images

Tingling in the legs after a run is usually not a good sign. Several factors can cause the tingling, and some of those factors could indicate serious health risks. If your legs consistently tingle after a run, speak to your doctor. In some cases, medical treatment will be necessary. Less severe cases can be treated with self-care.

Compartment Syndrome

You might feel tingling in your legs as a result of compartment syndrome. Though compartment syndrome is rare in physically active people, runners stand to develop this syndrome more than others because of the repetitive motions involved in running. Compartment syndrome, also known as chronic exertional compartment syndrome and exercise-induced compartment syndrome, tends to appear in the arms and legs and can cause muscles to swell, numb and tingle. These symptoms can appear during and after exercise. Chronic compartment syndrome can weaken your muscles and cause permanent numbness.



Tingling after a run can develop in the feet. More specifically between your toes, which is usually an indication of neuroma. Neuromas are bundles of pinched and inflamed nerve endings, which can tingle and become painful. These nerve endings become irritated from the repetitive running motion and bending of your feet. The tingling can feel as if it is underneath the skin, while the skin itself can itch and burn. Neuromas are common in people whose metatarsal bones move too easily within the feet. The condition can be treated by icing the feet for 10 to 15 minutes ever hour for five to six hours. You can also use athletic shoe inserts designed for neuroma relief, which help reduce irritation during runs by stabilizing the metatarsals.


Entrapment Syndrome

Entrapment syndrome can be a relatively serious condition that can cause tingling in the legs. Surgery is some times required to correct the problem. The tingling sensation comes from trapped blood in the popliteal artery, which is situated behind the knee. If the artery becomes pinched, the amount of blood delivered to the lower leg is reduced, which results in a tingling sensation. Repetitive bending of the leg while running can cause the artery to become pinched in the gastrocnemius muscle. Usually, the artery is relieved from the compression after you stop running, but in some cases, surgery is required to free the artery again so that it can properly deliver blood.



Falls and collisions can cause pinched nerves, which are often the culprit for tingling sensations in the legs, if the legs are affected during a fall or collision. Pinched nerves can, however, affect practically every body part, no matter the location of the pinched nerve. It is important that you speak to your doctor if you fall during a run and subsequently experience chronic tingling. She can help determine what is causing the tingling and whether it is coming from a pinched nerve. Your doctor can prescribe or recommend certain therapies, such as chiropractic care, to help treat any tingling sensations.