|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topSensory loss; Paresthesias; Tingling and numbness; Loss of sensation
Definition Return to top
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.
Causes Return to top
There are many possible causes:
Home Care Return to top
Your doctor should identify and treat the underlying cause of your numbness or tingling. Treatment of the underlying condition may reverse the symptoms or prevent them from becoming worse. For example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or low back pain, your doctor may recommend certain exercises.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will discuss ways to control your blood sugars.
Low levels of vitamins will be treated with vitamin supplements.
Medications that cause numbness or tingling may need to be switched or adjusted. You should not change or stop taking any of your medicines or take large doses of any vitamins or supplements until you have talked with you doctor.
Because numbness can cause a decrease in feeling, you may be more likely to accidentally injure a numb hand or foot. Take care to protect the area from cuts, bumps, bruises, burns, or other injury.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Go to a hospital or call your local emergency number (such as 911) if:
Call your doctor if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination, with careful evaluation of your nervous system.
Medical history questions may include the following:
Your doctor may also ask you questions to determine your risk for stroke, thyroid disease, or diabetes, as well as questions about your work habits and medications.
Blood tests may include:
Imaging tests may include:
Other tests that may be done include:
References Return to top
American Diabetes Association (ADA). Standards of medical care in diabetes. VI. Prevention and management of diabetes complications. Diabetes Care. 2007 Jan;30(Suppl 1):S15-24.
Creager MA, Libby P. Peripheral arterial disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders; 2007:chap 57.
D'Cruz DP, Khamashta MA, Hughes GR. Systemic lupus erythematosus. Lancet. 2007 Feb 17;369(9561):587-96.
Piazzini DB, Aprile I, Ferrara PE, et al. A systematic review of conservative treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Clin Rehabil. 2007;21(4):299-314.
Rowland LP. Diagnosis of pain and paresthesias. In: Rowland LP, ed. Merritt’s Neurology. 11th ed. Baltimore, Md: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005:chap 5.Update Date: 4/21/2009 Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.