Discover 10 Common Causes of Numbness & Tingling
How the Nervous System Affects Sensations of Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling occur when electrical impulses cannot be carried through the nervous system, which can occur due to various reasons. It usually happens because persistent pressure is applied to your nerves, blocking the flow of nerve impulses. For example, this occurs when you sit in the same position for a long time. Thus, the smooth functioning of the nervous system is essential in preventing numbness and tingling.
10 Common Causes of Numbness and Tingling
To better deal with numbness and tingling, it is best to understand its root causes. Remember that numbness and tingling are common; unless it is persistent and interferes with everyday life, it is nothing to be alarmed about.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a passage near the wrist on the palm side surrounded by bones and ligaments. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome arises from compression or pressure on the median nerve, a vital nerve in the hand responsible for sensory and motor functions in certain fingers. Numbness and tingling are common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is treatable through physiotherapy.
A pinched nerve occurs when tissues, bones, or cartilage around a nerve compress it due to external pressure. This can happen in many body parts, like the back, chest, neck, and shoulder. Injuries usually cause repetitive movements like texting on your phone or underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Numbness and tingling are common symptoms of a pinched nerve.
Vitamins are essential to maintaining general health as they fulfill multiple roles in your body, from preventing infections to maintaining nerve health. Vitamin B-12, in particular, is important in producing a substance called myelin, which acts as a protective coating that helps protect the nerves and allows them to function normally. Thus, vitamin deficiencies can be a possible cause of your numbness or tingling.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease where your immune system attacks, consumes, and causes damage to the protective shield of your nerves called myelin. With this disease, it becomes progressively more challenging for nerves to transmit signals to different body parts. Over time, it can cause permanent deterioration of nerve fibers. Due to this damage caused to the nerves, people with multiple Sclerosis often experience numbness and tingling.
Diabetes is a common disease when your blood sugar is too high. You might wonder how this causes numbness and tingling. Well, increased blood sugar in your body damages your nerves. Your nerves may find it difficult to send messages to different body parts. While not everybody with diabetes shows this symptom, it is common for people with diabetes to face numbness or tingling.
Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland, a small gland at the front of your neck and below the voice box, does not produce enough thyroid hormones required for your body's functioning. Experts have observed that long-term hypothyroidism can cause damage to nerves which results in numbness and tingling. Sometimes, it can also cause Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
Lyme disease is an extremely rare disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, usually transmitted through ticks. While you might be able to detect Lyme disease through symptoms like fever, headache, and fatigue, it also commonly causes numbness and tingling, especially in the second stage. If you are experiencing a combination of the aforementioned symptoms and rashes, it is advisable to seek expert medical consultation.
Peripheral neuropathy is when the nerves outside your brain or spinal cord are damaged. As with most nerve-related disorders, it makes transmitting nerve impulses to different body parts more complex, leading to numbness and tingling. Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, infections, and more often cause Peripheral Neuropathy.
Smoking & drinking
While smoking and drinking negatively affect general health, they can also cause nerve issues, leading to numbness and tingling. Alcohol has been known to damage the peripheral nerves, which transmit signals between the brain and the body. Over some time, smoking or alcohol can cause increased damage, leading to persistent symptoms of numbness.
Incorrect posture often leads to sensations of numbness or tingling. Prolonged maintenance of the same position can cause a "falling asleep" feeling in the body. Specifically, numbness can be generated while sitting cross-legged, standing with weight distributed unevenly, and more. Maintaining good posture will ensure that your nerves won't be compressed or damaged, thus reducing the chances of numbness or tingling.
Symptoms for Numbness and Tingling
Now that you know what causes numbness and tingling, how can we tell for sure that you're feeling its symptoms? Numbness and tingling can be felt in various body areas and can be detected through the following symptoms.
- A sensation of numbness or reduced sensation in the affected area
- A pins-and-needles sensation, which is also known as paresthesia
- A burning or prickling feeling in the affected area
- Weakness or loss of muscle control in the affected area
- Difficulty moving the affected area.
- Reduced or increased sensitivity to touch, temperature, or vibration
- Pain or discomfort in the affected area
Diagnosis of Numbness and Tingling
If symptoms of numbness and tingling are persistent and accompanied by pain, distress, weakness, or difficulty in movement, it is best to consult a physiotherapist. A medical professional at Physiotattva would evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical examination and image testing, and study your nerve condition thoroughly, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of your condition.
Treatments for Numbness & Tingling
Understanding the common causes and symptoms of numbness and tingling, you can consider various treatment options if you are experiencing it.
Some medications provide temporary relief against numbness and tingling, but it is best to identify the root cause of your numbness and tingling before taking them. Consult your doctor and take medications as recommended by the expert.
Physiotherapy is an effective method to deal with numbness and tingling. It provides relief through rigorous exercise routines, techniques like massage therapy or electrotherapy, and specific treatment methods like nerve gliding sequences.
Factors like poor posture and vitamin deficiency can be detrimental to maintaining good nerve health. Thus, maintaining a balanced diet and a fit lifestyle can ensure you don't have to cope with numbness and tingling.
In some cases, alternative therapies like chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture help reduce numbness and tingling. That said, it is best to choose a recovery program recommended by your physiotherapist.
Managing Numbness and Tingling With Physiotattva
Numbness and tingling are common and not to be alarmed about. You can manage your numbness and tingling with a proper diagnosis involving proper examinations and tests and the correct recovery program that uses exercises and physiotherapy methods. Using the latest technology and innovations in physiotherapy built into our state-of-the-art clinics, our experts at Physiotattva can provide specialized care on your road to recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common cause of numbness?
The most common causes of numbness are incorrect posture, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, pinched nerve, vitamin deficiency, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, and Peripheral neuropathy.
Can vitamin deficiencies cause numbness and tingling?
Yes, vitamin deficiencies can cause numbness and tingling. Vitamin B-12 deficiency, in particular, is detrimental to nerve health, as it reduces the production of a protective coating around the nerves.
What is the best treatment for tingling and numbness?
Some treatment options for numbness and tingling include medications, physiotherapy techniques such as electrotherapy and massage therapy, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies.