Numbness or Tingling

I’m sure you’ve felt tingling or numbness in your legs or arms, especially when in a single position too long. But when the tingling sticks around, there could be an underlying condition. Read this to learn to identify when it’s time to see your doctor.

9 minute read

Last Updated July 1, 2020

Numbness And Tingling In Extremities - Joint - 1MD

Unusual tingling, prickling sensations, or numbness in an extremity can be caused by sitting with your legs crossed for too long or when your arm falls asleep having been in one position for too long. There could also be other reasons for these sensations in your arms, legs, hands, or feet. 

If the tingling in persistent and there is no obvious cause it may be the symptom of a disease.

What Causes Numbness or Tingling?

Numbness or tingling is known as paresthesia, and it is caused when blood flow is restricted or cut off from an extremity. This commonly happens when sitting cross-legged or when you fall asleep on your arm.

Animal bites and migraines can also cause tingling feelings as well as an abnormal level of potassium, calcium, sodium, or vitamin B-12 in your blood. You may even experience tingling as a result of an injury or infection.

What Are the Symptoms of Numbness?

On occasion, a tingling feeling is nothing to worry about, and in most cases, it can be resolved within a few minutes. When there is no obvious cause, however, you need to speak with your doctor. 

If the tingling continues, or if you also feel dizzy, or develop a rash, or muscle spasms, a more serious disease could be the underlying cause. Other symptoms that could indicate a more serious cause include:

♦ Loss of consciousness
♦ Inability to walk or move
♦ Slurred speech
♦ Vision disturbances
♦ Losing control of your bowels
♦ Inability to think clearly

The Diagnosis of Numbness or Tingling

Your doctor will need a complete medical history to start, so make sure you are honest about all previous and current symptoms. Discuss any injuries or conditions, even if they do not seem relevant. 

Your doctor also needs to know what medications or supplements you are taking. Certain chemical interactions can affect your nervous system and cause a tingling sensation.

A physical exam will usually be done as well as blood tests. Electrolyte testing, thyroid function testing, and toxicology tests can also be done. Imaging tests may also be needed if further analysis of your nerves is required. 

Diseases Associated With Tingling Numbness

There are several conditions that have been linked to numbness in the extremities and tingling sensations through the body. If your numbness is persistent, reach out to your doctor to discuss your symptoms. He may want to evaluate you to check if any of these conditions are to blame.

Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis can cause bone spurs, which can irritate and compress nerves, which will cause pain as well as numbness or tingling.

♦ Compressive neuropathies: Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome cause the median nerve in the hand to become compressed, which can lead to numbness.

♦ Peripheral nerve compression: This is more commonly called a trapped nerve, which is when any nerve becomes compressed by a nearby bone and causes tingling and muscle weakness.

♦ Peripheral neuropathy: This happens when messages from the brain to the spinal cord are disrupted as a result of a damaged nerve. 

♦ Diabetes: Uncontrolled high blood glucose levels over a period of time, can cause damage to nerves (diabetic neuropathy), which causes tingling and numbness in your feet and hands.

Fibromyalgia: This condition often causes muscle spasms and stiffness that can compress nerves in the area, which causes numbness in the extremities.

♦ Guillain-Barre syndrome: This is a serious autoimmune condition that attacks the nervous system causing damage to peripheral nerves. As a result, numbness and eventually, paralysis is likely.

♦ Herniated disk: The soft discs between your spinal bones can push through and pinch nerves traveling along the spinal column. Depending on the nerves pinched, you can experience numbness and tingling sensations.

♦ Lyme disease: This disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints, and if left untreated, this can cause peripheral neuropathy (numbness) and nerve damage. 

♦ Multiple sclerosis: Severe multiple sclerosis can cause paralysis, and one of the earliest signs of the disease is tingling and numbness.

♦ Thyroid diseases: Hypothyroidism, if left untreated, can cause peripheral neuropathy as well as muscle weakness. This occurs because there is a lack of the thyroid hormone being produced, which has an impact on the nervous system.

♦ Sciatica: This is caused by a herniated disk that specifically pinches the sciatic nerve, causing numbness and pain down the back of your leg.

♦ Shingles: Shingles affects your nervous system and left untreated can cause numbness (postherpetic neuralgia) and nerve damage. The risk for postherpetic neuralgia increases with age.

♦ Vasculitis: This is the inflammation of blood vessels that changes the blood vessel walls. As a result, they can narrow, cutting off blood supply to areas of the body, which will create a tingling sensation.

♦ Vitamin B12 deficiency: Deficiency in this vitamin can cause a specific type of anemia, which can disrupt the blood flow throughout the body. It can also directly impact your nervous system, which will also cause numbness.  

Treatments for Numbness and Tingling

So long as the cause is not a serious condition that needs to be addressed, there are natural options you can try at home to relieve numbness and tingling in your extremities. 

Resting can help to relieve the sensations, along with the application of heat or ice. Massages and exercise can also help to loosen tight muscles or joint compressions, causing the pinched nerves. 

Natural Treatment for Numbness and Tingling

In addition to home therapy, you can incorporate supplemental help to naturally relieve pain and discomfort associated with numbness. Damage or injury to the nerves triggers inflammation, which can exacerbate the numbness and tingling. The best natural ingredients to try for reducing pain, numbness, and inflammation are below:

Curcumin: Optimized and clinically proven curcumin, as found in Longvida, is a natural way to relieve pain and inflammation. Pinched nerves that cause numbness can also cause pain. The inflammation also prevents healing. Longvida reduces inflammation and delivers an analgesic effect to help relieve numbness associated with pinched nerves.

ApresFlex: This clinically proven boswellia serrata formula improves joint health. Misaligned and swollen joints can put pressure on nearby nerves, causing chronic neuropathic pain. Promote joint health and reduce inflammation with ApresFlex and benefit from a reduced risk of neuropathy and numbness.

Collagen: Collagen not only helps to build bone, but it also cushions bones in your joints. A lack of collagen increases the risk of bones rubbing together, causing friction and pain. This can also interfere with nearby nerves. Maintain collagen levels to protect your joints and reduce possible nerve damage and tingling.

Hyaluronic acid: This gel-like substance serves as lubrication for joints and an anti-inflammatory agent. Supplements benefit numbness and tingling by reducing the risk of bone-on-bone contact in your joints. Ensuring that joints and bones move smoothly is a way to make sure nerves are unaffected.

When to See Your Doctor

When numbness is caused by sitting too long or sleeping on a limb, the sensation will go away quickly. If there is an underlying condition behind the tingling sensation, then you need to consult your doctor. 

Identifying the root cause of the tingling allows for treatment, and this can relieve the sensations. Ignoring the numbness can lead to progressive worsening of an underlying condition, so it is best to speak with your doctor right away if it is persistent.

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