numb feet and driving trouble

heya. I use to drive a manual but found my left foot went numb(new symtpon) and had a bit of a scare in car so stopped driving and have been advised to only drive an that was my plan but now i find that my right foot also is numb..its hard to explain the numbness exactly as i can feel my feet but i cant always feel where my feet are in terms of the pedals and sometimes i miss the pedals and get scared and have to look down at my feet to make sure they in place(which is dangerous in itself)...if  that makes sense... my question is has anyone else had similar problems when it comes to driving and numbness...i think id be better driving with no shoes, just socks as i can then feel the  pedals properly but no this many be also dangerous?? any suggestions please cause i really dont want to have to go down the hand control route. It mite just take time for me to build up my confidence as i havent driven properly for months...

I just really dont want the ms to stop me driving as i cant walk anywhere so really need this to work itself out....

please advise fella msers.




I had the numb feet, extremely numb, it was what led to my diagnosis. I had really thin dolly shoes to drive in. I couldn’t feel my feet, as such, so would just lift my leg every now and again so I would feel the pedal ‘hit’ my foot. I couldn’t feel it after that though do it wasn’t great. With me it lasted a few months but cleared up without treatment.

Hopefully yours will pass quickly xx

Hi, I drove a normally equipped manual car for 10 years after diagnosis, as things have worsened with my legs and feet, I went to a driver medical assessment centre where they gave me various tests and afterwards supplied a report which change my driving entitlement to automatic transmission vehicles with hand controlled accelerator and brakes. This made such a difference to me and my self confidence with being able to drive safely again. Now, if you get a car on the Motability scheme these hand-controls are fitted at no cost to you, I would really recommend you to look into this, you won't regret it. Rob


I agree with Rob.  I once couldn't drive for a month due to totally numb feet and knew it wasn't safe.  I did drive my car for half a mile and could only tell I was on the accelerator by the engine noise - very scary and dangerous.  I parked up and left the car on my drive for a month until I felt safe to drive again.

Now I have been made aware of the driver assessment centres I would find my nearest ones and go along for an assessment if it became a more permanent issue.  We had a talk at a local MSS meeting and apparently you can try out various cars with different adaptations until you find what suits your needs.  You can have a go at the centre before taking the car out on the road to be sure it's what you need before you go ahead and order your own through the Motability scheme or have your existing car modified if that's what you prefer or if it's possible.

Tracey x

Since my last relapse over 12 month ago, I have been left with two numb feet! Difficult to explain the numbness as I can feel my feet but the base of my feet, the soles, feel like im walking on sponges. I horse ride and after a while in the saddle my feet become worse, like there is a circulation problem and can become painful - like when your feet get so cold they hurt! I have up to now avoided taking steroids but wondered if any one out there has had a similar problem, and did steroids help or has it been too long since my relapse for them to work?

Yes, like rob above. Go get the assessment, and hand controls easy peasy and now I’m IN CONTROL so no scarey moments. You feel a bit odd at first but better be safe and independent.


Hi, mmm…not good…sounds like its hand controls time Im afraid kid! Unless it`s a relapse/temporary symptom.



I agree with the other posts. If your feet aren’t really under control and/or you can’t feel them, you should really make some changes to your driving. I went from a manual car to an automatic when my left foot started slipping off the clutch. But since my right foot started slipping off the accelerator and I thought my braking could be a bit slower than was safe, I went for a mobility driving test session. It costs a bit but is worth it, they check everything, from your braking reaction time to your cognitive awareness and give you a detailed report. My reactions weren’t as slow as I’d thought, in fact I was just about legal, but I decided to have hand controls fitted anyway, I knew it wasn’t going to get any better and I wanted to make sure I could control the car properly. I found it strange driving using just hands at first but it soon became second nature. The assessment centre I went to also had lists of driving instructors to help with the transition. I decided to have a few lessons in an adapted car and it was really helpful. Of course you’d still have to change to an automatic car (you can’t change gear if you are using both hands, one to steer using a steering ball and the other to accelerate/brake). You can now get really clever ring systems that fit around the steering wheel to accelerate/brake, I considered getting one but as the basic push/pull/steering ball system is free on motability, I just stuck to that.

By the way, you should really advise DVLA that you have MS, they send you a form to fill in and give you a restricted license (or a full license if you are still able to drive a manual car), but the license is given for just 3 years at a time. If you’re not currently driving, wait until you have an assessment and then declare your MS and current driving ability at the same time. They’ll want to check with your GP, so make sure s/he is aware.


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If you get high rate mobility DLA/PIP Motability will pay for the assessment at the assessment centre. They also made a contribution towards driving lessons for using the hand controls. They don’t particularly advertise it so you need to ask! It was the assessment centre that told me but it needs to be organised before you make the appointment.

Sarah x

It was a couple of years ago, but I think my assessment was free.

the driving lessons are more acclimatising to hand controls rather than lessons, but if you can get help to pay that’s excellent.

actual hand controls cost, but as people have said if you are in the motability scheme, they should be able to handle this (excuse the pun)…

Thankfully it’s only my right foot where I can’t feel anything. Two years ago, I had my automatic converted so that it has 2 accelerators. Only one can be used at any time. There’s a left foot accelerator for me and a right one for my wife is she needs to drive my car. The accelerator not in use at any given time is flipped up and is out of the way.

it took a few months to get used to driving with the left foot but once I did, it’s been great.


I’ve never been on steroids and can’t remember the time-frame of their possible effectiveness. Your MS nurse or GP should be able to help.

Re. symptoms getting worse after a time riding - perhaps just fatigue and or warming up?

So I am new here and do not have a definitive diagnosis. My list of symptoms is endless for about 30 yrs. The past 4 yrs things have been getting progressive worse and different symptoms. However on the subject of numbness what I experience while driving is a feeling of not knowing my foot is actually on the pedal. I don’t get like a falling asleep numbness or tingle its just like a heaviness and my foot will hit the gas harder and rev the engine while I am driving. In 2005 I had trouble while driving for about 2 days where my foot just fell off the brake pedal without my doing. Does anyone here understand and do you think this is a symptom of MS? Thank you

What ever it is you have, you should not be driving. I’m shocked you think it’s ok to get behind the wheel of a car.

Totally agree. If you can’t feel your feet or are uncertain about braking times, you should not drive. Get your response time tested and see if you are legally safe.


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Although I never had what you describe I began to be concerned when my right leg sometimes felt sluggish when driving. I spoke to Mobility about using hand controls, they had my driving assessed and I now use hand controls or foot depending on how I am at the time. Don’t take risks.

Jan x

If you don’t feel safe , then don’t drive.

You can get a driving assessment done they then suggest adaptions to your car.

Hand controls, steering ball etc.

Don’t forget , if you have been diagnosed with MS.

YOU MUST TELL THE DVLA and car insurance company. Insurance may be invalid.


I commented on this post in 2015. At that point I was using a left foot accelerator. Prior to this I’d gone from manual to right foot automatic. Two years ago, just before getting a new car, my left foot started to deteriorate, but only very slightly. Sensing that it would get worse, I got hand controls as well as the left foot accelerator. Within 3 months, the left foot had worsened to such an extent that I could use it to drive. Been using hand controls for 18 months now. Remarkably easy to learn hand controls. However haven’t been in the car since March due to the recent sepsis infection and slow recovery.

I gave up most driving several months ago for the various reasons listed above, but I discovered a long time ago that when I’m at home, I do best when I run around barefoot. I live in the country, so that’s not a problem, but I don’t seem to trip and stumble as much as when I wear shoes.

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