What Frequent Numbness Means
In Most Cases, Numbness is Benign, But It Can Be a Sign of Something More Serious
More than likely, we have all experienced numbness in some form or another. Sometimes after waking up from a long and hard sleep, our arms will feel numb. Some people think it’s fun to sit on their hands until they go numb to experience the sensation. While neither of these instances causes significant issues, numbness in other scenarios might be a sign of something more severe.
Temporary numbness or tingling might occur if you lay on your arm for too long, spend too much time sitting with your legs crossed, or some other innocuous reason. However, when numbness lasts for an extended period or occurs frequently, something might be wrong.
It is an abnormal condition that can occur anywhere on your body. Some people experience leg numbness while others experience finger and hand numbness. There are many different reasons for this condition. However, if you experience frequent numbness, you might be suffering from an underlying condition.
At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, our team of pain management doctors has decades of experience treating a handful of different ailments. We have assisted patients dealing with frequent numbness by identifying the cause of the condition and treating it accordingly. If you or someone you know experiences frequent numbness, contact our Frisco pain management clinic to learn how we can help.
What is Numbness?
Healthcare experts describe numbness as a loss of sensation in a specific part of your body, typically affecting the extremities (such as your hands and feet). It typically involves a tingling sensation or a pins and needles feeling. Numbness occurs whenever there is a change in your nerve function. This change prevents your nerves from communicating with one another to deliver messages.
A tingling sensation often occurs due to a lack of blood supply to the area in question. Cold weather and nerve compression can deprive the cells of the oxygen they need. In most cases, numbness is far from life-threatening. Depending on the cause, feeling tends to come back quickly when blood starts to rush to these areas.
Symptoms of numbness include:
- Tingling sensation
- Pins and needles sensation
- Burning sensation
- Loss of feeling
- Unusual pain
- Muscle spasms
- Sensitivity to touch
- Leg numbness
- Toe numbness
- Finger numbness
- Hand numbness
You can experience numbers on any part of your body. However, depending on the cause, you will likely only experience it in one spot.
While most causes of numbness are benign, if it occurs frequently or does not go away quickly or at all, something could be wrong. Additionally, it can be a sign of a serious issue if it occurs with other symptoms, such as:
- Numbness on one side
- Facial drooping
- Trouble speaking/slurred speech
- Cognitive disfunction/trouble thinking clearly
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
In these instances, numbness could be an indication of a serious underlying medical condition, such as a stroke. In these instances, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Causes of Frequent Numbness
In most cases, numbness is due to some nerve damage, disruption, compression, or irritation. As we stated earlier, if numbness occurs without any other symptoms, it is usually benign. Arguably the most common cause of numbness is when your arm or leg falls asleep, which occurs when you hold the same position for too long, such as sleeping on a bent arm or sitting on crossed legs.
However, there are more complicated issues that could lead to frequent numbness. Some of these causes are:
- Alcohol misuse disorder
- Repetitive nerve damage (occurs when repetitive pressure is put on the nerve)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated disks
- Degenerative disc disease
- Osteoarthritis that causes bone compression
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Blood Clots (such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT))
Frequent numbness might also be a symptom of a neurological disorder. Often, these disorders attack your nervous system. Some of the most common neurological disorders that lead to numbness include:
- Peripheral Neuropathy: This disorder is the result of damage suffered to the peripheral nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord (known as the peripheral nervous system). Traumatic injuries, infections, inherited causes, and more can cause peripheral neuropathy.
- Diabetic Neuropathy: Those with diabetes are likely to develop this disorder. High levels of blood sugar (glucose) can damage the nerves throughout your body, most often the nerves in your legs and feet.
- Neuralgia: This disorder occurs when the protective layering of nerve cells is damaged or worn away.
These are just a handful of conditions that can cause frequent numbness. Many of them can lead to severe complications and can often be life-threatening. It is vital that you contact our Frisco pain management clinic as soon as possible to receive treatment right away.
Seeking Medical Attention
Everyone experiences numbness or tingling at least once in their life. Often, these cases are nothing to worry about and are the result of staying in one position for too long. They will typically resolve in a few minutes. However, when these sensations don’t go away, or there is no discernable cause for your numbness, then you should contact a doctor. In many cases, frequent or chronic numbness is an indication of a serious medical condition.
Your doctor will review your medical history and examine your symptoms, even if all of them don’t seem to connect. Be sure to note any recent injuries, infections, or illnesses you have had recently, as well as prescription drugs (numbness could be a side effect). Further tests (blood tests, thyroid function testing, toxicology screening, etc.) will need to be done to identify the cause of your symptoms.
Numbness treatment varies from case to case. There are various causes, so your doctor won’t know how to treat it until they’ve discovered the problem. At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, our team of healthcare providers possesses the skills and experience necessary to diagnose your condition swiftly and accurately, allowing them to create a personalized treatment plan specifically for you.
If you are experiencing chronic or frequent numbness, give our Frisco pain management clinic a call today and learn how we can help.