Legs Tingling and Itching After Running

Tingling or itching legs during or after a run might be annoying and uncomfortable, but it is rarely serious and will usually subside soon after you cool down. There are a number of different reasons for these symptoms, most of which can be managed at home. However, if the tingling persists, affects your mobility or causes pain, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment advice.

Low electrolyte levels are one cause of itchy or tingling legs after running. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Circulation Problems

Around 85 percent of your blood is directed to your working muscles during exercise, the Sports Fitness Advisor website explains, and your blood vessels expand to accommodate the increased flow. Peripheral artery disease — a narrowing of the blood vessels — can impair your circulation. This reduced blood flow is known as ischemia; symptoms include pain and tingling in the extremities, which can radiate up one or both legs. Peripheral artery disease may also cause your legs to ache and/or feel crampy. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor for a full diagnosis.

Low Electrolyte Levels

Electrolytes in your body regulate your nerve and muscle function, your hydration levels and repair damaged tissue; they include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Exercise can deplete your body's levels of these electrolytes, which can cause your muscles to twitch and spasm, the Medical News Today website explains. This is particularly the case if your levels of sodium, calcium and potassium fall, because your muscles need these electrolytes to contract. To keep your electrolyte levels balanced during and after a workout, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Sports drinks containing calcium and potassium may help.

Neuroma

Neuroma occurs when a nerve bundle in your foot — usually between your third and fourth toes — becomes inflamed. It is common in runners with hyper-mobile feet and is characterized by tingling pains that shoot up your leg, as well as numbness and a burning feeling in your foot, Josh Clark writes for the Cool Running website. Symptoms may come and go and should be treated with ice to reduce inflammation of the nerves. When running, you can manage your symptoms by applying padding directly to the affected area. To make sure you find the exact position, bend your toes back or press the sole of your foot until you find the most painful spot. If this doesn't help, see a podiatrist.

Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

A tingling sensation in your legs could be due to chronic exertional compartment syndrome, a rare neuromuscular complaint that is most likely to occur in people who engage in repetitive activities like running. The tingling usually affects the lower legs; other symptoms can include pain, tightness and swelling in the affected limb. The condition is likely to arise soon after you start exercising and get progressively worse during your session. At first, the symptoms will disappear shortly after you stop exercising. However, if the condition worsens, the symptoms may linger for several days. If this is the case, stop exercising and see a doctor.

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