William S. Thatcher, DC
Chiropractor located in Baldwin, NY
Tingling and Numbness Q & A
What Causes Tingling and Numbness?
Tingling and numbness are common symptoms in a wide variety of injuries and health conditions. The pins and needles feeling many people often associate with a body part "falling asleep" is normally preceded by tingling and numbness. These sensations are normally the result of diminished blood flow to the area. When blood flow is decreased, the tissues and nerves are deprived of oxygen. The longer they go without oxygen, the sooner the tingling sensation appears. As the tissues continue to be deprived of oxygen, numbness can begin to set in. As soon as blood flow is restored and the tissues begin to receive the much-needed oxygen, the sensation of pins and needles begins, often to the point of extreme pain.
What Health Conditions Have Tingling and Numbness as Symptoms?
Aside from the common "falling asleep" sensation, tingling and numbness is often associated with conditions that involve the nerves. Diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, pinched nerves, herniated discs, slipped discs, spinal stenosis, and plantar fasciitis can result in varying degrees of inflammation and pressure that result in the nerves being pinched in some way. Tingling and numbness are often the first symptoms a person has when it comes to certain health conditions. As a person ages, tingling and numbness can also be signs of osteoarthritis and other chronic health conditions.
What Happens if Tingling and Numbness are not Treated?
If a health condition that has tingling and numbness as a symptom is not treated, it can lead to more severe symptoms, and in some cases, damage to the nerve. Once a nerve is damaged, it cannot be repaired. Because numbness and tingling are often one of the first signs of a problem, treating those symptoms may be the first step in preventing permanent damage. A good example of this is diabetic nerve pain. If steps are not taken early on to prevent or at least halt, the progression of the disease, the resulting nerve pain will eventually become intense. If the health condition can not be cured, slowing its progression can protect the nerve and result in less pain and inflammation.