There are a wide variety of reasons why a person might experience tingling and burning sensations in the arms and legs. The most common causes of parasethsias (skin sensations) are diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, sciatica problems and fibromyalgia. Tingling and burning sensations in the legs and arms can also be caused by circulation problems that may be temporary and simply the result of sitting oddly on a foot or sleeping on an arm. The “pins and needles” feeling of parasthesias can be annoying in its mildest forms and distressing in its most advanced forms.
According to Medline Plus, one of the most common symptoms of diabetes is numbness, tingling and burning in the legs and feet. This often occurs as a result of high blood sugar and the resulting nerve damage. For individuals who do not pay attention to this serious symptom, the results can be devastating. As the condition advances, sensation is lost in the extremities so that it can become difficult for people with diabetes to realize they have a wound on their foot or fingers. This makes it more likely that they will lose limbs as a result of the diabetes.
Another condition that may result in tingling and burning sensations in legs and arms is multiple sclerosis, according to Medline Plus. For individuals who have not had the condition very long, one of the first symptoms that MS is present is these pins and needles feelings. Accordingly, many doctors advise that repeated experiences of discomfort in legs and arms should not be ignored, particularly if accompanied by other symptoms such as problems with balance or problems with speech.
The sciatic nerve connects to the lower aspect of the spine. Many back problems are often the result of damage to the sciatic nerve and can result in numbness, tingling and burning sensations in the lower extremities, according to Medline Plus. Many people initially believe that they have injured their hips when in reality their sciatic nerve has been injured or is inflamed. Sciatica pain usually radiates down either or both legs and can reach as far as the feet.
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which the nerves are highly inflamed and sensitive. Recent research suggests that individuals with this condition are hypersensitive to nerve pain because of an excess in the amount of the neurological chemical that signals the brain that the body is feeling pain. One form of pain common for fibromyalgia patients is burning and tingling in the arms and legs, according to WebMD.
Another source of tingling and burning in legs and arms can be circulation problems. If pressed so that the blood is not allowed to freely circulate to the extremities, it is possible to feel burning and tingling in feet, hands, legs and arms. Once the pressure is lifted, the blood slowly returns to the limb in question and discomfort is felt for a few minutes until the blood returns.