Pins and Needles when Running



  • Hello,

     I get pins and needles in my left foot after running for about half and hour, eventually my whole foot goes numb, and I get a burning pain in my calf. I've recently been referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, who thinks that it might be a condition called exercise induced compartment syndrone.

    There are many descriptions of this condition on the net, if you think you've got it then badger your GP for an orthapaedic referral, and if you can't bear the waiting times, BUPA charge £110 for an orthapaedic referrral.

    Unfortunately, the only way that this condition can be managed is by surgery, post surgical outcomes are however excellent.

  • I suffer with numbness in both feet starting at my toes and spreading into the balls of my feet, but this is only on the cross trainer and not when out running. Am i ok to wear my running shoes on the cross trainer or should i be wearing different footwear.  I have tried having the laces very loose but it seems to make no difference.
  • I have started to get pins n needles in my left calf and foot recently.

    I have good trainers and have had no problems with pins n needles until last week. I have tried slackening the laces on my trainers to see if it helps, which is doesn't. 

  • I cant believe how common thi is. I thought that I was the only one. The only problem that I have that differs from those aleady written in here is that since I have seriously started upping my training I have had pins and needles costantly. I can rarely feel my left foot and it is now spreading up my left leg also. I work in an office and always wore 5 inch heels, but in the last tree weeks I havehad to wear black 'sensible shoes' as it feels like I am walking on the outside of my feet and that my ankles will give way if I continue wearing them. If anyone can help me, please do. I am at the end of my tether with the sensible shoes. let alone the running.
  • and sorry aout the spelling. I always forget to read through what I have written before I send it
  • interesting comment you made about the numbness in your left thigh. I too experience this and also pins and needles. I've never really given much thought to finding out what is causing the problem...I feel it is all part and parcel or runnning. I should add that it doesn't impact on my running at all.

    Many years ago I had some problems with my sciatic nerve and wonder if this is still part of my current problem. I was also told that it is caused by the very thin nerves that run across the hip bone and the friction of running causes these to wear thin thus the numbness in the thigh.

    I'm about your age so after 20+ years of running plus many previous years on playing squash I'm not going to let this interfere with things now. 

  • Another sufferer here people:

    Pins and needles after about 3 miles, back pain after about 2-3 miles, discomfort for 24 hours after.I have tight calves, hamstrings.... you name it!

    Have tried loose trainers and socks - nothing, so the next steps for me are hammy stretches against the wall as suggested in this feed, plus some yoga.

     If this fails,  GP/Physio/Chiro..........

  •  Hi there,

    I have been a runner for ten years plus and recently over the last years experienced pins and needles in right foot, which starts as a tightness in the calf muscle and then transpires into pins and needles in the right leg so bad that it feels as if I am running on one leg! It is really uncomfortable and seriously effects your running! It starts at about 6K, generally on hill sprints like the ones I did on Tuesday, but sometimes and quite often it will happen on flat surfaces from 6K onwards...tried insoles and calf stretches. Calf stretches seem the best at the mo, although I am still getting them.

    Any tips or advice will be useful.


    Fellow runner

  • I have this problem and it is nice to find other fellow sufferers are out there as I, like many others, thought I was 'abnormal'!

    I rarely stretch before my runs and will try this now.

     I have recently seen a chiropractor and he said I have bad circulation and to up my vitamin E intake. I have also bought a High Tech Health Circulation Booster....strange sensation but seems to ease it.

     Definitely going to try the stretching and looser socks.

     Thanks for the tips. Happy running.

     *Run Forrest Run* 

  • I have just started feeling pins and needles specifically in the arches of my foot and occaisionally in big toe. However I didn't feel this until the evening after a run. Nothing during the run. It is still there 2 days later. Comments please?
  • Hi Julian,

    You could have Morton Neuromas (

    Worth geting checked out by a Podiatrist, I had the same problem and got custom orthotics which fixed the problem. When I run anything over about 4 miles my toes go numb and was in pain.

    Hope this helps

  • I too have suffered the pins and needles problem - left foot exactly 30 mins into a run.  I also have lower back problems on my left side.  But I have found stretching the achilles (I think that's what its called - the bit that runs from your calf down to your heel) before I run has really, really helped.  I sit on a chair and circle my ankles both ways for a few mins and then if I think they may still be a bit tight do a few calf raises on the stairs - works really well for me. 

    Hope this is of help.

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