Numbness & Tingling related conditions
Numbness and Tingling – Causes and Treatment
Nerve damage can cause nerves to fire incorrectly, causing pain or numbness even when there is no actual damage. This might be caused by diabetes, autoimmune diseases, vitamin deficiencies, and other factors.
Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling are abnormal sensations that can occur anywhere in your body, but they’re most commonly felt in your hands, feet, arms, or legs. They may feel like pins and needles, prickling, or burning. In some cases, numbness and tingling can be a sign of a serious condition, such as a stroke or nerve damage.
Causes of Numbness and Tingling
There are two types of numbness and tingling: static and dynamic. Static numbness and tingling are when the sensation remains the same over time. Dynamic numbness and tingling are when the sensation changes, such as getting worse or better over time.
The obvious cause of numbness, tingling, or tingling numbness in most cases is poor posture, or sitting in the same position for too long. Many medical conditions can be the cause of numbness and tingling too, including:
One of the most common causes of numbness and tingling is a pinched nerve. This can occur when the nerve is compressed or irritated due to an injury, enlarged blood vessels, tumor, etc. It can also occur gradually due to poor posture or repetitive motions.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which can lead to numbness and tingling. This is because high blood sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another common cause of numbness and tingling. This condition occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, becomes compressed. This can happen due to an injury or repetitive motions.
Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet.
Cervical spondylosis is a condition that occurs when the bones in the neck start to degenerate. This can put pressure on the nerves in the neck, causing numbness and tingling.
Multiple sclerosis is a condition that can cause damage to the nerves. This can lead to severe numbness and tingling, as well as other symptoms like muscle weakness and problems with balance.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is essential for nerve health. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to nerve damage and numbness and tingling.
Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral artery disease is a condition that occurs when the arteries become narrowed or blocked. This can reduce blood supply to the extremities and cause numbness and tingling.
When to see a doctor for Numbness and Tingling
In most cases, numbness and tingling can be caused by something as simple as sitting in an awkward position for too long. If you experience numbness and tingling that is accompanied by other symptoms, such as muscle weakness or loss of coordination, it could be a sign of a serious condition, such as a stroke or nerve damage, in which case see a doctor as soon as possible.
Emergency medical attention should be sought if numbness is accompanied by:
- Inability to control bladder or bowel movements
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of sensation in the face or trunk of the body
- Speech or vision changes
Diagnosis and Treatment of Numbness and Tingling
Treatment for numbness and tingling depends on the underlying cause. Your doctor will start by asking about your medical history and doing a physical examination. Depending on what he finds, he may order tests like blood tests and imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. These will help him to examine the brain for indications of stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, and other neurological diseases.
If your doctor finds that you have a stroke or nerve damage, they will treat those conditions accordingly. If your symptoms are due to carpal tunnel syndrome, they may recommend splinting or surgery. If you have diabetes, they will work with you to manage your blood sugar levels. In some cases, vitamin B12 supplements can help treat numbness and tingling caused by a deficiency.
Numbness or tingling is a common sensation that we mostly ignore. But if you are experiencing multiple episodes of numbness or tingling, don’t hesitate to contact your health advisor to rule out any serious medical conditions.