Definition of Numbness and tingling:
Numbness and tingling are abnormal sensations that can occur anywhere in your body, but are often felt in your fingers, hands, feet, arms, or legs.
There are many possible causes:
Remaining in the same seated or standing position for a long time
Injury to a nerve -- for example, a neck injury may cause you to feel numbness anywhere along your arm or hand, while a low back injury can cause numbness or tingling down the back of your leg
Pressure on the spinal nerves, such as from a herniated disk
Pressure on peripheral nerves from enlarged blood vessels, tumors, scar tissue, or infection
Shingles or herpes zoster infection
Lack of blood supply to an area -- for example, cholesterol (plaque) build up from atherosclerosis in the legs can cause pain, numbness, and tingling while walking (this is called vascular claudication); frostbite can also reduce blood supply and lead to numbness
Other medical conditions, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (pressure on a nerve at the wrist)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a "mini-stroke"
- Underactive thyroid
- Raynaud's phenomenon
- Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in your body
- A lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamin
- Use of certain medications
- Toxic nerve damage due to lead, alcohol, or tobacco
- Radiation therapy
Chiropractic Care for Numbness & Tingling
Your Chiropractic Physician at Rainier Sports And Spinal Reahb Clinic will begin by determining the cause of your numbness and tingling by obtaining an accurate medical history and by performing a physical exam, which may include orthopedic and neurologic testing. Further evaluations may be needed to determine the cause or extent of your condition, which might include: blood tests, CT scan, MRI, vascular ultrasound, or electro diagnostic testing such as nerve conduction velocity studies. If the doctor determines that your condition may respond well to chiropractic care, a chiropractic care plan will be created for you that aims to eliminate irritation and restore proper functioning of the nerves. In addition to chiropractic care, this care plan may include physiotherapy to reduce inflammation, and/or nutritional and lifestyle coaching to address any possible metabolic causes of your symptoms. Painful conditions may also be addressed with acupuncture.
Most cases of numbness and tingling can be treated conservatively with chiropractic care. In some instances when drugs, injections or surgery may be needed, the doctor would then refer you to a specialist in the appropriate area and will work closely with that specialist to continue helping you resolve your symptoms.