Numbness and tingling are unusual prickling sensations that can happen in any part of your body. People generally notice these sensations in hands, feet, arms, and legs. Many things can cause numbness and tingling, including sitting with your legs crossed or falling asleep on your arm. If numbness and tingling persist and there’s no obvious cause for the sensations, it could be a symptom of a disease or injury, such as multiple sclerosis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment will depend on your diagnosis.
Many things can cause numbness and tingling, including some medications. Things that we do every day can sometimes cause numbness, including sitting or standing in one position for a long time, sitting with your legs crossed, or falling asleep on your arm. These are all examples of pressure being put on nerves. Once you move, the numbness will get better. There are numerous conditions that can cause you to feel numbness and tingling, such as:
· An insect or animal bite
· Toxins found in seafood
· Abnormal level of vitamin B-12, potassium, calcium, or sodium
· Radiation therapy
· Medications, especially chemotherapy
Sometimes, a specific injury can produce numbness or tingling, such as an injured nerve in your neck or a herniated disc in your spine. Placing pressure on a nerve is a common cause. Carpal tunnel syndrome, scar tissue, enlarged blood vessels, infection, or a tumor can all place pressure on a nerve. Likewise, inflammation or swelling of the spinal cord or brain can place pressure on one or more nerves.
Damage to the skin via a rash, inflammation, or injury is another reason for numbness or tingling. Conditions that can cause this type of damage include frostbite and shingles (a painful rash caused by the chickenpox virus).Some diseases produce numbness or tingling as a symptom. Examples of these diseases include:
· Carpal tunnel syndrome
· Raynaud’s phenomenon
· Multiple sclerosis
· Stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini stroke)
· Hardening of the arteries
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
Temporary numbness and tingling can occur after spending too much time sitting cross-legged, or with a head resting on a crooked arm. But long term, severe, or disabling numbness and tingling is usually a sign of neurological conditions or nerve damage. Some common risk factors associated include
· Gender. Some women are more likely than others to suffer from tingling extremities for inherent health reasons. These predisposing factors can affect a woman's hormone levels and increase the chances that a woman will develop tingling extremities during her reproductive life.
· Alcohol use. In addition to long-term risk factors, tingling extremities can also be triggered by behavioral habits like consumption of alcohol. Avoiding these habits as much as possible may help to avoid the onset of these symptoms.
· Abnormal Postures .Tingling extremities are caused by hormonal imbalances, underlying medical conditions, physical problems, or everyday habits.
· Chronic High Cholesterol
The best way to prevent numbness and tingling depends on the cause. However, several lifestyle habits may help prevent or reduce numbness and tingling associated with MS, such as:
· Eating a low fat, high fiber diet
· Getting enough vitamin D and biotin (a B vitamin)
· Taking regular moderate exercise
· Learning strategies to cope with heat and cold
· Having a regular sleep schedule
· Limiting or avoiding alcohol and smoking
Everyone experiences numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation on occasion. You probably have felt it when you stood up after sitting in one position for a long time. Usually it resolves within minutes. In some cases, feelings of numbness and tingling or burning can indicate a serious injury or medical condition. Seek urgent care if you recently experienced any of the following:
· a back, neck, or head injury
· Inability to walk or move
· Loss of consciousness, even if only for a short time
· Feelings of confusion or trouble thinking clearly
· Slurred speech
· Vision problems
· Feelings of weakness or severe pain
Losing control of your bowels or bladder
Expect your doctor to request a complete medical history. Be sure to report all symptoms, even if they don’t seem related, as well as any previously diagnosed conditions. Note if you have any recent injuries, infections, or vaccinations. Your doctor will also need to know any prescribed or over-the-counter medications and supplements you’re taking.
Depending on the findings of a physical exam, your doctor may order additional tests. These may include blood tests, electrolyte level testing, thyroid function testing, toxicology screening, vitamin level testing, and nerve conduction studies. Your doctor may also order a spinal tap (lumbar puncture).
Imaging tests – such as an X-ray, angiogram, CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound of the affected area – can also help your doctor reach a diagnosis.
Several medications designed to treat different conditions may also help reduce numbness and tingling associated with Multiple Sclerosis, such as:
· Amitriptyline, imipramine, and nortriptyline
Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually treated with wrist braces, over-the-counter pain medications, nerve gliding exercises, or surgery and avoiding trigger activities.
Treatment depends on the cause of your numbness. Your Physiotherapist will examine you, carrying out a detailed assessment to determine the cause of your symptoms. Diagnosis of a nerve injury is made by taking a detailed history and carrying out a comprehensive objective examination. Depending on the findings, our physiotherapists may recommend Electromyography (EMG), a nerve conduction test to confirm the presence of a pinched nerve and to determine the extent of the nerve injury.
A nerve pinched by bone or some other tissue will need Physiotherapy treatment to allow full nerve functioning to resume. Nerve compressions can be extremely problematic if left untreated. It is therefore vital that you seek advice from a trained medical professional as early intervention is key to full return of function.
Some common treatment modalities include.
· Electrotherapy (PSWD, Interferential, TENS)
· Normalizing sensation
· Neural dynamic stretches
· Pain Management
· Strengthening exercises
· Nerve Gliding Sequence
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