Numbness and Tingling

Numbness and tingling are abnormal sensations that can occur anywhere in the body, most commonly in the extremities, ie: arms and legs. This is often caused by some type of abnormal pressure on a nerve, causing an interruption in nerve conduction.

If the pressure is short term, normal sensation returns when the pressure is removed. Continuous pressure on a spinal nerve from a herniated disc, bone spur or other degenerative spinal condition, if left untreated can cause permanent nerve deterioration.

Common Causes

There are several causes of numbness and tingling in the arms and legs:

Pinched nerve in the neck can result from a neck sprain/strain injury, awkward sleeping position causing nerve compression, and arthritic deterioration in the spinal joints and discs in the neck. This can cause pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.

Activities such as sitting or standing in one position for a long period of time can cause temporary pressure or “pinching” on the sciatic nerve in the low back, interrupting nerve conduction.

Disc herniation – the discs are cartilage pads between the vertebrae, or spinal bones. They contain a soft centre that can cause the damaged outer disc to protrude, or bulge, potentially pressing on adjacent nerves. This causes numbness and tingling along the nerve pathway in the arms or legs.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, with pain and tingling in the hands. This condition can be caused by inflammation of the tendons that pass though the carpal tunnel, repetitive strain of the hands and arm muscles, arthritis of the wrist bones, pregnancy and other conditions where the body retains extra fluid. These all cause extra pressure on the median nerve where it passes though the carpal tunnel.

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease that causes deterioration in the peripheral circulation, especially the legs and feet, with nerve deterioration (neuropathy). The result can often be numbness of the legs and feet, as well as gangrene, a very serious development

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the nerve sheaths brain and spinal cord.
Demyelination, or patchy holes in the nerve sheaths, cause a progressive loss of sensation and strength in the extremities. Many sufferers end up in a wheelchair.

Raynaud’s disease is a condition in which cold weather causes vascular spasm, with loss of circulation causing numbness to the hands and feet. Typically the skin turns white during an attack.

Chiropractic Treatment

Early detection and proper diagnosis is very important. Most cases of numbness and tingling are not serious and can be resolved quickly. The longer the problem persists, the greater likelihood of nerve deterioration.
Chiropractic treatment of the spine and extremities can relieve the pressure that is causing the arm/leg numbness and tingling sensations. Chiropractic adjustments can help restore spinal alignment, improve mobility and relieve nerve pressure.
Other therapeutic modalities in conjunction with chiropractic adjusting may include but not be limited to heat or ice packs, dry needling acupuncture, ultrasound, massage and traction, as well as home stretching and strengthening exercises. General health and nutritional improvement may be needed to address underlying health conditions.

For consultation, diagnosis and treatment of numbness and tingling disorders, contact us at Blue Vista Health Centre.

Our service area includes Bullaburra, Wentworth Falls, Lawson, Leura, Katoomba, Hazelbrook and the greater Blue Mountains.