Tingling and Numbness in the Face and Back of the Head

Head Sensitivity Map – Head Dermatomes

Sensitivity of the FACE and TOP OF THE HEAD is mediated by the right and left Trigeminal nerve (5th brain nerve), which originate from the brainstem and divide into three branches each:

  1. Ophthalmic nerve travels through the ceiling of the orbit and enters the face above the eye. It innervates the front half of the top of the head, forehead, eyebrow, upper lid, the skin on the top of the nose, cornea, eye conjunctiva, and frontal sinuses.
  2. Maxillary nerve travels across the bottom of the orbit and enters the face below the eye. It innervates the skin on cheeks, upper lip, sides of the nose, lower eyelid, a part of mucosa in the nose, paranasal sinuses, upper gum, and upper teeth.
  3. Mandibular nerve: mental branch travels along the inner side of the jawbone, enters the skin on the sides of the chin and innervates the skin of the jaw. Auriculotemporal branch innervates the skin in the front of the earlap, and temporal region.

facial innervation

Picture 1. Sensitivity map of the head – head dermatomes
(Click to enlarge image)
(source: Wikipedia)

Sensitivity of the BACK OF THE HEAD is mediated by the first three spinal nerves (cervical nerves C1-C3) .
Sensitivity of the NECK and most of the EARLAP is provided by the superficial cervical plexus composed by cervical nerves C1-C4.

What Causes the Numbness on the Head?

Head or face tingling or numbness is caused by irritation of the cervical (C1-C4) nerves, Trigeminal nerve, or parts of the spinal cord, brainstem or brain responsible for the sensitivity of the head/face.

Causes include: spinal disorders, like herniated disc, neurological diseases, like multiple sclerosis, vascular disorders, like atherosclerosis, infections, like meningitis, poisoning, epilepsy, tumors, injuries, metabolic changes, like hypokalemia, and other causes listed below.

NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS

Disorders primarily affecting nervous tissue include:

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Herpes zoster (shingles) is a reactivation of a chicken pox virus in the nerve roots of Trigeminal or cervical nerves at any time (months, years) after chickenpox infection, resulting in:

  • Tingling on the one side of the face, scalp or trunk, followed by a band of red patches and painful blisters that crust over and fall off in 2-3 weeks. Sometimes there is no rash but only tingling sensation.
  • Fever, headache, vision, hearing or taste problems may appear.

Herpes zoster can be treated by acyclovir or famcyclovir.

Post-herpetic Neuralgia

Post herpetic neuralgia is a complication of Herpes zoster reactivation, mostly seen in patients over 50 years of age. Facial tingling, numbness or pain may last several months or years.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms include:

  • Circular red rash with a pale centre appearing few days or weeks after a tick bite (rash lasts few weeks). Fever and fatigue are sometimes present.
  • Months or years after the tick bite (there is no rash at that time), tingling, paralysis of facial muscles, vision disturbance, problems with memory, migratory joint pain (especially in knees) and heart problems can appear.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux) is a chronic nerve disorder of unknown origin, mostly affecting adults, and causing:

  • Sudden severe shock-like (or mild) facial pain, lasting from few seconds to two minutes, triggered by tooth brushing, shaving, chewing, speaking, laughing, or even a slight breeze. Tingling and numbness as a warning symptom before the pain attack. Symptoms often progress in frequency and severity.

Trigeminal Neurophatic Pain

Trigeminal neuropathic pain can appear as a complication of trauma, dental procedure, surgery, or disease, like diabetes or stroke. Symptoms, usually on one side of the face, include:

  • Constant, dull, burning pain
  • Numbness and tingling

Trigeminal Deafferentation

Pain in trigeminal deafferentation (interruption of sensory nerve fibers) results from nerve damage, usually during treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (alcohol injections, surgery). Main symptom is:

  • Continuous burning numbness

Anesthesia Dolorosa

Anesthesia dolorosa is usually a complication of treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Symptoms:

  • Facial numbness and constant or stabbing pain occurring at the same skin area

Treatment of Trigeminal neuralgia and neuropathies , complementary treatment

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is, as believed, an autoimmune disease affecting the brain, brainstem or spinal cord. Symptoms usually appear between 20-40 years of age and include:

  • Blurred vision, or even blindness, usually at one eye at the time
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis, usually on one side of the body
  • Unusual sensations or pain anywhere in the body
  • Difficulty speech, hearing loss, dizziness, impaired balance, difficulty with concentration
  • Fatigue, depression

Transverse myelitis and acute flares of multiple sclerosis are often treated with steroids.

Epilepsy

In epilepsy, abnormal electrical activity in the brain cells can cause episodes of:

  • Tingling, numbness, changed taste or smell, strange emotions or behavior
  • Convulsions, muscle spasms, and, sometimes, loss of consciousness.

Guillain-Barre syndrome

In a rare Guillain-Barré syndrome, immune system, usually some days or weeks after respiratory or food poisoning, attacks peripheral nerves. Symptoms can develop fully in few hours or few weeks, rarely extend over 2 months and may include:

  • Muscular weakness and numbness starting in the feet and progressing to the upper trunk and head; sometimes symptoms start in the hands or face and proceed toward the legs
  • Difficulty with bladder and bowel control
  • Severe back pain
  • Slow heart rate
  • Difficulty with eye and facial movements, speaking, chewing or swallowing (6)
  • Difficulty breathing (only in severe cases)
  • Consciousness is not affected

Tabes Dorsalis

Syphilitic myelopathy (Tabes dorsalis) is a rare complication of untreated syphilis. Symptoms:

  • Abnormal sensations (“lightning pains”)
  • Muscle weakness, loss of reflexes
  • Loss of coordination, difficulty walking, wide-based gait
  • Psychiatric illness

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS

Anxiety and Panic Attack

Symptoms in anxiety and panic attack include:

  • Feeling of fear and tightness, faintness
  • Trembling
  • Rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, sweating, hot flashes, chills
  • Tingling or numbness in hands, arms, feet, legs, face, toungue, mouth, lips or other body parts

FOOD ALLERGIES, FISH/SHELLFISH POISONING

Food allergies can cause tingling lips, throat and skin itch, and swollen face.

Ciguatera poisoning after eating big tropical fish, scombroid poisoning with spoiled fish, and paralytic shellfish poisoning can causetingling, skin rash and diarrhea.

CIRCULATORY DISORDERS

Stroke and Transitional Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Stroke is a damage of a part of the brain, occurring after a blockage or break of the brain artery due to atherosclerosis, thrombosis or rupture of an arterial aneurysm. Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke” occurs when a blood supply is only briefly interrupted; symptoms appear suddenly and may disappear within an hour (in TIA always within 24 hours) and include:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking, swallowing, seeing
  • Trouble walking, dizziness
  • Severe headache.

Symptoms in the stroke may be permanent, but can often improve within weeks/months with proper rehabilitation.

Vertebrobasilar Circulatory Disorders

In vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders, blood supply to the back of the brain, little brain (cerebellum), and brainstem is disrupted due to blocked basilar or vertebral arteries. Characteristic symptoms are:

  • Complete or partial vision loss, double vision
  • Vertigo, problems with balance
  • Numbness and tingling of the head
  • Symptoms resembling stroke (see above)

Angina Pectoris

Angina pectoris (Latin angina = tightness, pectus= chest) is a symptom of inadequately oxygenated heart, mostly due to narrowed coronary arteries (that supply the heart), rarely appearing before 30 years of age . Symptoms include:

  • Sharp or dull pain behind the breast-bone, triggered by effort, strong emotions, cold, heavy meal, or other stress; lasting from few moments to 10 minutes (up to 30 minutes in severe cases). Pain or numbness my radiate to the jaw, left shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Dizziness, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath

Vasculitis

Head tingling and numbness can result from an impaired blood supply to the nerves caused by vasculitis – inflammation of small to medium sized arteries: temporal arteritis (giant cell arteritis), Wegener’s granulomatosis, necrotizing vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosa, posterior inferior cerebellar artery syndrome , thoracic outlet syndrome, vasculitis caused by colagenoses, and so on.

INJURIES

Head or Spinal Cord Injury

Cuts, punctures, bruises or broken head/facial bones can affect nerves and thus causes numbness or tingling. Dislocated jaw may cause pain or numbness in temporal and jaw area – temporomandibular (TMP) pain.

Spinal cord injuries of the upper cervical (neck) spine (above the C4 level) may result in back of the head numbness. Motility and sensitivity of other parts of the body will be also likely affected.

SPINAL DISORDERS

The following disorders affecting cervical spine above C4 level can cause tingling or numbness on the back of the head:

  • Spinal arthritis (spondylitis)
  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
  • Bulging or herniated disc
  • Osteoporosis

TUMOR, ABSCESS

A tumor or abscess (collection of pus after infection) in the brain, orbit, ear, nose, paranasal sinuses, mouth, parotid glands, muscles or skin, skull, vertebra or spinal cord can directly press on the nerve tissue or infiltrate it, thus causing unusual sensations or pain in the face or back of the head.

Paraneoplastic Syndrome

Substances, like serotonin, secreted by various tumors (especially lung cancer and carcinoid) can cause paresthesia in any body part.

METABOLIC DISORDERS

Metabolic disorders that may result in tingling anywhere in the body:

  • Abnormal blood levels of calcium (hypocalcemia, hypercalcemia), potassium (hypokalemia, hyperkalemia), magnesium, sodium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B6, or B12, thyroxin, aldosterone
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), commonly occuring in insulin dependent diabetics, chronic alcoholics, in prolonged starvation, heavy exercise, dumping syndrome
  • Uremia (in chronic kidney failure)
  • Amyloidosis
  • Porphyria inherited or acquired disorder of heme (part of hemoglobin) synthesis
  • Hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, hypoaldosteronism (Conn syndrome)
  • Menopause

MEDICATIONS, DRUGS and TOXINS

  • Medications: anti-convulsant drugs, lomotil, amiodarone, colistimethate, digoxin, dimercaprol, mefloquine, riluzole, tetrodotoxin, thallium, topiramate, HIV medications, metronidazole, overdose of lidocain or vit B6, SSRI withdrawal
  • Radiation therapy, chemotherapy
  • Alcohol causes alcohol neuropathy (chronic paresthesia), but it can be directly toxic to nerves (acute paresthesia). Alcohol withdrawal after long term drinking can cause sensation of “crawling bugs”.
  • Tobacco
  • Poisoning: heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury), nitrous oxide, ciguatera poisoning with tropical fish, snake bites, carbon monoxide

OTHER CAUSES OF HEAD TINGLING AND NUMBNESS

  • Migraine. Symptoms: one sided head pain, nausea, vision problems
  • Infections: AIDS, leprosy, Herpes simplex, rabies, canker sores, arbovirus
  • Connective tissue and autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren’s syndrome (dryness in the tear ducts, salivary glands, and other glands), pernicious anemia
  • Blood disorders: thrombosis, polycythemia, thrombocytosis, leukemia
  • Bones and joints disorders: arthritis, osteomalacia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nutrient deficiency: vit B1 (beriberi), vit B5 and B12 deficiency
  • Hereditary diseases: Refsum syndrome, Fabry disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (wasting of the leg muscles, resulting in malformation of the foot), porphyria (increased production of porphyrins), Denny-Brown’s syndrome (disorder of the nerve root), ataxia-teleangiectasia
  • Immune deficiency

Diagnosis of the Cause of Head Paresthesia

1. Revealing the exact history of your symptoms to your doctor is essential to get a diagnosis:

  • Time course: When and how did symptoms start (injury, unconsciousness, sudden head pain…), are they long lasting or recent, constant or change with time
  • Location: exact areas affected, one/both sided, non/symetrical
  • Other head related symptoms: pain, vision, hearing, smell, taste, temperature sense, or balance problems. Problems with speech, eating, or moving the head or limbs (weakness, cramping, paralysis). General symptoms: nausea, fever.
  • History of trauma, starvation, diabetes, alcohol abuse, cancer, or collagen vascular disease
  • Family history: paresthesia in relatives

2. Neurological examination of the whole body, performed by a neurologist is required.

3. The following tests may be needed:

  • Blood tests: CBC, electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, TSH, glucose, BUN/creatinine, hemoglobin A1C, ESR, vitamin B12, thiamine level, and chest X-ray
    –Additional tests may be indicated (lead level, SPEP and UPEP to rule out paraproteinemia, Lyme titers)
  • Electromyography (EMG) may be used to differentiate neuropathic versus myopathic causes of muscle atrophy
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Nerve biopsy (rarely needed)

Treatment of Head/Facial Numbness

Treatment posibilities of head/facial tingling include:

  • Treating the underlying cause
  • Coping with stress, stopping drinking or abusing drugs
  • Supplements as vitamin B complex, calcium, magnesium (only according to blood tests)
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS or steroids – epidural in severe cases)
  • Analgesics or antidepressants

Related Articles:

References:

  1. Sensory innervation of the head, trigeminal nerve (bartleby.com)
  2. Causes , Diagnosis and Treatment of Paresthesia (wrongdiagnosis.com)
  3. Causes , Diagnosis and Treatment of Paresthesia (wrongdiagnosis.com)
  4. Diagnosis of face Numbness (wrongdiagnosis.com)
  5. Guillain Barre syndrome Symptoms (mayoclinic.com)
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer

Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. By using this website and the comment service you agree to abide by the comment terms and conditions as outlined on this page

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  • Richa Tiwari

    Its richa again, i am sorry i forgot to mention i regularly do yoga since i got bell palsy (right side of face). my neurolist said tht he looked fr MS, tumor or any changes in brain and said i am ok, just three problem mention above and also everything will reverse as i am only 26 year old. just want to know is there other possiblity of this prob. i do breathing exercises is it ok.
    thnks

  • Jan Modric

    Richa Tiwari,

    I’m not sure if herniated disc in the neck can be excluded as a cause of pain. It may be hard to judge from the MRI alone if the disc in pinching the nerve(s) or not. You may try Gabapentin as doctor have suggested. If no relief, you can ask, if additional investigations to reliably exclude/confirm neck discs as a cause of symptoms would be appropriate.

    I can’t say if what you have is benign fasciculation syndrome (BFS). This could be caused by anxiety or hard exercise.

  • Richa Tiwari

    Hiii,
    Thanks fr ur reply, is large tonsil have any role in my health prob. is it normal? or ny other kind of test can suggest anything?

  • Jan Modric

    Richa Tiwari,

    large tonsils may be normal, but they could be caused by chronic tonsillitis – an ENT can make a diagnosis. Large tonsils do not sound as a cause of your problems to me. Like said, a neurologist can say, if any other neurological investigation would reveal, if you have pinched nerves in the neck or not.

  • Richa Tiwari

    OK… thanks fr reply… 🙂

  • noorali

    my mother have pian of migraine i am so sad for that. plz saloved my probilm she have left side head pain in brain so no less pain any time ….

  • Jan Modric

    noorali,

    a neurologist can help her find a cause and prescribe appropriate treatment. Here is a list of foods and other migraine triggers. She can try to avoid them and see if it helps.

  • kllrmry

    Im hoping for some direction. I have had tingling and pain on my right side of my face. I went to the doctor 7 days ago because I thought I just had a bad ear infection but he said something about bells palsy and put me on both and antibiotic and a steroid. I finished both medications and the tingling is mostly gone but am having some numbness on the right side of my face to my chin and above my ear and my ears feel plugged. Also my throat feels a bit scratchy. Not sure what to do, I want this gone, Im worried it could be serious. Also I just move to a new climate could this be related to allergies.

  • Jan Modric

    kllrmry,

    allergies do not likely affect only one half of the face. The original cause could be an infection of the middle ear. The fat that antibiotics have helped additionally speak for an infection. You can wait for some days to see if symptoms are lessening – in this case they will probably go away completely in a due time. If not, visit a doctor again. Symptoms from brain tumor, stroke or multiple sclerosis, for example, would not likely lessen after the medications you’ve got.

  • kllrmry

    Thank you, I will give it a couple of days and see if it improves. Thanks again.

  • RaychelT

    Can someone please help? My nose is numb and tingling and has been this way for over a month. There is a constant pain behind both eyes that gets worse in sunight and artificial lighting. The back of my head and neck ache and I have a constant headache for a month. I can hear my heartbeat. I have been tested for tick borne illnesses because I am around them for school and they often get attached. My blood tests all came back negative. I have general fatigue that only gets worse. Please help.

  • Jan Modric

    RaychelT,

    I recommend you to visit a neurologist soon.

  • Nick

    Hello,

    I have a problem that seems a bit silly, but it’s getting annoying. Occasionally, when I blow my nose, I feel a kind of pressure in my sinuses (I guess? near the top of my nose anyway), then after a few minutes the right side of my face starts getting numb – first the right side of my upper lip, then my upper right teeth/gums, then it spreads to my right cheek and the right side of my nose. After some time, I get a headache too.

    It goes away on its own after a while – if I’m lucky, a few minutes, if not, up to 2 or 3 hours. At that moment I can feel the pressure being released from my sinuses – and sometimes hear a sound from my nose as it does – and then the numbness and pain gradually vanish over a few minutes. Relatively often, I hear that pressure-releasing sound from my nose right after blowing it, and then I don’t get any numbness.

    The problem occurs mostly when I have a cold, but that might obviously be because I blow my nose a lot more often at that time. Actually, it seems to happen most often when I just got out of bed and blow my nose for the first time of the day. This has been happening irregularly for about two years, and I had never had anything similar occur before that. I can’t really think of anything that would have triggered it.

    From the description of the nerves in the article, it definitely seems to be the maxillary nerve that is in cause. The areas it is responsible for are the ones getting numb. So I would guess that somehow blowing my nose sometimes creates a pressure on this nerve resulting in my symptoms.

    Is this possible? Is this common? Why is this happening now? Is there anything I can do to prevent it, or make it go away faster?

    Thank you very much.

  • Jan Modric

    Nick,

    an anatomical disorder, like a deviated septum, or a polyp or inflammation in the nose or maxillary sinus could result in increased pressure in the nose and sinus and cause symptoms you’ve described. I recommend you to visit an ENT.

  • grahamg

    Hi
    I wonder if you can advise me, I woke up one morning in January with numbness and pain on the right hand side of my face from my temple to my cheek, this was followed closely by pain on that side which was very uncomfortable.I woke up with large nayl discharge that first morning, like large tubes of mucus. The doctors and dentists pescribed in total six amouts of strong antibiotics. the first visit to the dentist, he gave me a root canal and all symptoms went for two weeks. I had a very long day at work and became tired and felt the tingling crepping feeling come back again. I saw three dentists in total and had my top wisdom tooth removed, along with three root canals on the top right hand side. The wisdom tooth extraction on the last visit rid me of the pain, but since then I have had to a less or greater extent the pins and needles sometimes across both cheeks, and across my nose. three months before the symptoms I had my lower wisdom tooth (rhs) removed because it was impacted, it was removed under a general anaestethic. I had had ear fullness for months upto that point and had been very feverish under any movement. The removal of the tooth seemed to make the ear fullness disapear pretty much after the removal. My doctor has pescribed me amytriptyline 20mg which I have been taking the last ten months, but am not sure if they are making any difference as in the last week the symptoms are back as bad as nearly at the begining, tingling creeping burning(withou the pain). my doctor has diagnosed me with zoster virus neuralgia. sorry about the punctuation. could you please give me youre oppinion?
    many thanks
    graham

  • Jan Modric

    grahamg,

    where did the mucus come from (in January)? I can’t give you an exact answer, but tingling and pain can arise from a teeth or inflammation around certain teeth pressing upon the nerve (mandibular or maxillary branch of the Trigeminal nerve), from sinusitis (?), nasal polyps, or anatomical abnormality in the mouth (possibly related to impacted tooth).

    Herpes zoster virus infection is treated with acyclovir or related antiviral drug; not sure on basis of which symptoms you’ve got this diagnosis, though. Herpes zoster infection should heal in a month or two…If you don’t see any effect of amitriptyline, you may ask the doctor about stopping it (don’t do this on your own – to prevent withdrawal symptoms). Drugs may have their side effects (which could be your symptoms), so in attempt to find a cause you can ask the doctor which drugs are still necessary and which not.

  • healedkg

    *Hello. I had a minor bladder surgery ten days ago under anesthesia with darvocet and a steroid to combat nausea and wa sent home with cipro. Two days before surgery I had a profuse clear sinus drip. 36 hours after the surgery it returned. I took tylenol sinus and did a nasal sinus wash , but squeezed way to hard and then sucked it up only ot feel like my nose was hit with a fire hose stream with saline. I followed up iwth nasonex. I started to have tingling/numbnes in chin/tongue which moved to my lips and upper gums. I tried 3 days of old celbrex I had to no avail. What could this be? I am going to a PT today to see about possible accupunture. Should I see an ENT? Could the sinus wash have irritated my facial nerves? Please help.

  • Jan Modric

    healedkg,

    yes, it’s quite possible the sinus wash has irritated the Trigeminal nerve that innervates the face. If symptoms are not worsening, you can wait a bit to see if they will go away on their own; if not you can ask the doctor. I do not see any sense in acupuncture, though.

  • healedkg

    Thank you for your reply. Forgive my first email with so many words spelled incorrectly as I could only see half the screen.

    Would you suggest I see a neurologist or a chiropractor for this numb-like pain that is similar to a foot going numb or as some say, falling asleep? I am in much pain right now and taking the celebrex.

    Thank you for your kindness,

    Kathy

  • Jan Modric

    healedkg,

    if it is only an irritation of the nerves, the condition should heal on its own in a due time, probably some days. If it doesn’t seem to get better, you might want to visit an ENT, who can judge if some inflammation has occurred, which needs to be treated.

  • David

    Hello, I have had problems with varying unexplained symptoms since 2004. Initially it started as chest pain (ECG clear)Chronic fatigue (Diabetes clear and B12) Night Sweats,Burning in ring fingers of both hands,mono-neuropathy in both feet worse if I eat sugar or carbs.Tingling in side of face, top of head,tip of nose, symptoms come and go and change all the time. Had am MRI and LP, all proved inconclusive, ELISA and Western Blot for lyme, no. Been to 4 Doctors now and they think I’m making it
    up. Liver,kidney function and Blood appears normal.small disc bulges in Cervical spinal C3,C4,C5,that’s all.Now general decline in physical energy with need to sleep often after exertion, sometimes for 2-3 days. Symptoms never constant, I’m really really curious and frustrated at what is going on with my health, 46 year old man, slight BMI issue through lack of exercise due to conditions, never smoked and no cannot tolerate alcohol.

  • Jan Modric

    David,

    as you probably know, symptoms in the ring fingers could arise from pinched spinal nerves due to bulging cervical discs. Eventual bulging discs in the lumbar spine could explain symptoms (?) in the feet. Which exact symptoms get worse after sugar/carb meals and in what exact time after meals? Any gastrointestinal problems, like burping, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea? Were other vitamins, except vit B12, and mineral levels also tested? How did the symptoms start in 2004 – suddenly or slowly, and can you recall any circumstances?

  • Jack

    Hi.
    I have constant facial tingling (just above left and right eye brows and forehead, and upper lip). Sometimes my nose and cheeks tingle too. the soles of my feet tingle also. It sometimes feels like my head is shaking.

    I have had these symptoms for 6 months now (mouth tingling was not present).

    18 months ago. I went to Brasil and took a large single does of Cocaine.

    Previous to this 6 month period I had bad headaches. In April my head started internally vibrating. I have had an MRI and EEG which were both fine.

    Neurologist said it was anxiety.
    I’m relaxed. But no improvement

  • Jack

    Jack, here again.

    I should add that the constant tingling has a “cold” burning feeling to it.

    Its not at all comfortable. Severe sometimes at night.

    The tingling in the soles of my feet can spread up my legs with a slight burning feeling.

    However I am relaxed / have accepted my condition.

    I believe I have Peripheral neuropathy though…

  • Jack

    Jack here again.

    Sorry. To further qualify. I believe I ingested a very toxic compound (a street drug known as paco in Argentina / Brazil). With little Cocaine in it.

    I didn’t detox. Didn’t know what I was doing.

    I believe the toxins damaged my periheral nervous system / central nervous system.

    I had very bad headaches for 14 months (with feelings like I had hot acid on my face at times). Also Tennitus.
    Then in April my head starting vibrating.
    I visited a neurologist. He said it was anxiety. MRI / EEG fine.

    Since May / June I have had above facial tingling / vibrating sensations along with my feet. Tinnitus sometimes still occurs.

  • David

    In 2004 I had two incidents happen,
    The first was a bike accident which severely jarred my neck. The second was I got a red painless rash on my left arm which could be attributed to Lyme, I live in an active lyme area, in the UK.
    The symptoms came on very quickly.
    I also got badly scratched on my arm by a
    neighbours cat, (bartonella?)
    although I do not rememeber specifically getting bitten by a deer tick.
    My neck MRI does show slight disk bulges on C2,C4 C5.
    The feet specifically burn after excess sugar or carbs and I tend to have enforced sleep too.
    I do get intense burping,and some diarrhea? but I’m either constipated or
    Diarrhea.
    Thank you for your reply, your help is much appreciated

    Regards

    David

    Were other vitamins, except vit B12, and mineral levels also tested? How did the symptoms start in 2004 – suddenly or slowly, and can you recall any circumstances?

  • Jan Modric

    David,

    you may check this personal medical history questionnaire and write down your complete medical history with all your current symptoms, past symptoms, investigations and their results. This may help to understand which event has resulted in a certain symptom.

  • sudhakar

    hi jan
    This is sudhakar,previously i wrote to u that i suffered from dengue fever and after recovery i got burning sensation in abdomen,that radiated to chest ,armpits, upper back,neck and also pins&needle sensation & numbness in fingers,foot. The burning sensation was not severe because iam getting good sleep& comfortably managing my daily work but it is irritating me.I was diagnosied with vit D defiiciency,i.e D 25 OH was 15ng/ml and my docter told me that my nerves were weak and also advised me to do exercise in morning& evening and he put me on vit d 1000 units & also vit b12(500ug),pregaballin(75mg),amitriptyline hydrochloride(25mg)daily & multivitamin syrup.for past 3 months iam suffering,is it vit d deficiency causes burning sensation,numbness all over body.

  • Katie

    Please help. I am 50 year old diabetic type 2.Today have symptoms of mild ischemia but no loss of speech vision or movement.Doctor told me I had diabetic complications restricting the flow of blood to my head, he was vague, saying diabetic neuropathy or artereosclerosis was the cause.My blood pressure was ok 140/90 but it is usually much higher.I believe it came down when I was drinking a lot of diet coke with aspartame in it.I had ans still have symptoms of numbness on the top and back of my head and behind my eyes and down my left forearm and left leg.I have sleep apnea too and I am thinking is my internal automatic system shutting down?Paralysis?Doctor said take aspirin and we will monitor it and go away.I have had a lipoma for 4 years at the base of my neck, quite large and deep causes me twisted spine and mobility problems.I tried to ask if I had a trapped nerve could cause the numbness but the doctor dismissed it.They have denied that the lipoma is affecting things to deny me funds to remove it.I looked up something called occipital neuralgia which said a tumor pressing on the nerves and muscles of the neck can cause numbness on the back of the head and paresthesia,this is all serious stuff and I am frightened and very distressed, they don’t want to send me to a neurologist and investigate, saying it is all down to diabetic complications.Whatever I am in danger of having a stroke.I have stopped the aspartame and worry what will happen if my blood pressure goes up, both diabetic complications and occipital neuralgia puts me at risk of stroke.

  • Hi Katie. In all likelihood this is more likely to be associated with the restricted blood flow to the brain due to the fact that it is one sided and extending all the way to the legs. The greater concern right now is to prevent a stroke. Aspirin is essential.

    Atherosclerosis is a common complication of long term diabetes, especially when a diabetic has not been adequately managing their glucose levels. It is further complicated by the fact that you also have hypertension, another cause of atherosclerosis. The lipoma issue may also be relevant but right now the focus should be on preventing a blood clot from forming which can be done with aspirin.

    I don’t think you should put so much credence into the aspartame lowering your blood pressure just yet. Rather follow your doctor’s instructions closely. Ideally you should see a neurologist at this point so that further assessments can be done but if your doctor does not feel it necessary then don’t rush the issue just yet. If you are unhappy then get a second opinion.

    Don’t get too distracted with self-diagnosing as you can sometimes do more harm than good. Rather speak to another doctor in person for confirmation that your current doctor’s approach is valid.

  • Katie

    Thank you for your reply.I have decided to go with the doctor’s advice.Another development is I looked up dangers of aspartame and found it is associated with numbness,I immediately stopped all diet coke and adding sweeteners to my tea and 24 hours later no numbness and everything is back to normal and I no longer feel the effects of the aspartame on my brain when I was continually drinking it throughout the day,I was addicted and on 2 litres a day since may.Could the whole numbness have been down to aspartame poisoning?I am taking aspirin as a precaution.My doctor said I am unlikely to have a stroke because my blood pressure is normal is this true?

  • Hi Katie. Glad to hear that you are feeling better and following your doctor’s advice. We would rather not be dragged into the aspartame debacle. As said in the previous reply, don’t put too much of weight into claims that aspartame lowers you blood pressure or has other health benefits. If these benefits were indeed so notable, would aspartame not then be used as a drug? As you have noticed yourself, stopping it has helped relieve your symptoms. This is not to say that aspartame is bad but too much of even a good thing can have deleterious effects.

  • Katie

    Hello I wonder if I can get advice on another problem,I have been having for the last month.I am smelling exhaust fumes inside my home from early afternoon throughout the evening and at night.There is no obvious cause for this, I have no gas appliances in my home,it is all electric.I live near a duel carriageway but have done for 19 years and never had this problem before,it doesn’t seem to be outside all the time,and it gets clear when I go to the garden anyway.I have read it can be caused by cancer or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)and sleep apnea combined.I don’t think I have cancer,I have on and off GERD and have it now and I am diagnosed with sleep apnea going on 4 years now.I have started up my excess acid medication,if it is due to GERD will the excess acid med Omeprazole end the smells.It feels really horrible and strong smell of carbon monoxide.What can I do to alleviate or stop this smell?

  • gl

    Hey guys, im searching for any advise that can be given. for the past 4 months, i have had severe pain. Org thought it was tooth related as i had 9 cavities, & wasnt to concerend. after consistantly going to the denist & having all taken care of, i came to the conclusion its coming from my upper gums, My pain is in my SIDES OF FACE, SIDES OF NECK SIDES/TOP OF HEAD The best way i would describe it is a SEVERE BURNING & NUMBNESS. it has taken most of my quality of life, leaving me extreme discomfort & no energy.. During the night & waking up seems to be the worst, as well as days i dont get much sleep, however it came be at any time, for no reason. ill wake up with blood shot eyes, tears, sometimes my eye is sollown shut for hours. it alternates on both sides but only seems to hurt badly on one side at a time. i find myself needing to blow my nose often, & the more i do the more it hurts/more pressure. (no bleeding) I have been to the hostipal for blood work (no results shown for infection) im turning to the internet because no one seems to be able to help or guide me. it has subsided for as much as 2 days (thinking it was getting better) & been right back. i know seeing a neurologist is the next step, id like to have a direction to go. if anyone has experienced the same symptoms, could u please share your findings. i can not stress enough how severe it is, leaving me scared it is something life-threatening.

  • Hi GL. There are several possibilities that may account for these symptoms. Firstly, it could be related to the 9 cavities you have had. This may have caused a neuralgia (nerve pain) that is not subsiding. It could even occur after the dental surgery. Drugs like gabapentin may be prescribed by your neurologist if this is the case. Another possibility is that this could be related to the paranasal sinuses or middle ear. Once again your neurologist will consider these possibilities. As you have mentioned there is no infection but this does not exclude the possibility of a neuralgia among the other conditions. Hopefully other users may be able to share their experiences and shed light on the matter. However, your neurologist has both the knowledge and first hand experience with your case to assist you further.

  • lagrima

    Hey guys ! My hubby has Diabetes and Coronary artery disease and is on treatment with several drugs . He often complains of numbness in the head and face , upper back pain . How could i differentiate numbness from possible MI with that of cervical spondylitis

  • Hi Lagrima. Numbness is not as prominent and long lasting with a heart attack (MI) as it is for cervical spondylitis. In an MI there is pain that comes on suddenly although the head, face and upper back are not commonly affected. The jaw at most will be involved. When you are looking at numbness in these areas (head, face, upper back) due to a cardiovascular cause then you may instead be looking at something like a stroke rather than a heart attack. Numbness in a stroke is usually accompanied by muscle weakness in that same area. Both an MI and stroke are acute in nature (most of the time) so the symptoms will develop over a short period of time. Dizziness and breathlessness are some of the symptoms you would also be looking at, and sudden profuse perspiration with an MI. With cervical spondylitis, the symptoms are usually ongoing. However, if you are in doubt then you should consult with a doctor.

  • Tay J

    I dunno if anyone is still active here, but about four months ago, I overdosed on Effexor XR (my prescription for depression/anxiety) for three days. I won’t get into specifics about how it all happened, but it was an accident out of desperation to get back on my medication after not having it for a year, without tapering back onto it.

    Anyway, since then, I’ve had my medication dosage sorted, but the entire left side of my body has been tingly and numb. The back of my head, left side of my face, my whole mouth inside and out, my left arm and leg and parts of the left side of my torso are all tingly and less sensitive to the touch than the right side. When I first wake up, it’s really intense, like the sensation of old fashioned TV static, but it never fully goes away. I’m not weak or in pain, but it’s distracting and concerning because I know that’s not right.

    My psychiatrist is not interested in taking me off of Effexor, saying she’s never heard of this reaction to the medication. She increased my dose just yesterday. Because of this, my primary care doctor has referred me to neurology and I’ll be going in next week. I’ve had blood tests and pee tests come back normal. Google doesn’t show me anything familiar, but it brought me here. I’m 27 years old, female. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, I’m just a nerdy artist and a hermit. I struggle with body pains (unexplained long-term pain in right knee that at least isn’t arthritis, spina bifida occulta, plantar fasciitis in both feet), so don’t get as much exercise as I should, admittedly. I’m always tired, but struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep, even with the assistance of aids such as benadryl and/or lorazepam. When I finally DO fall asleep, when I wake up I’m still so exhausted that I can barely get out of bed.

    I’m scared and confused. Please help. Any advice or well-wishes are appreciated.

  • Cara

    Hello there. I’ve had a very trying last several years. In 2008 while pregnant I was diagnosed w/ Bells Palsy (talk about being scared to death). My symptoms subsided after a month or so. Then, last year (2014) I was working out with a personal trainer on the weight bench and pushed up with the bar and it was very painful in my right arm near armpit area. The very next day I began with numbness on my right side (arm, face, leg) It lasted for a week or so. Went to the ER and CAT scan was normal, but no diagnosis. I saw a neurologist and she ordered for bloodwork and MRI with dye contrast. Everything came back normal, thank God! I then saw an ENT, and eye specialist and all tests were normal. Well, every several months I have this numbness on my right side and it’s coupled with a dizzy, foggy, almost drunk feeling and right eye pressure. I’m 37 and never smoked and hardly drink and take no medications. My neurologist firmly believes it’s stress and assured me it’s not MS. Any suggestions on what this could be??

  • Hi Cara. MS would be a reasonable consideration given your history but this has been ruled out by the neurologist. The other investigations that you had would show if blood flow is compromised to the brain which would cause some of the symptoms you are experiencing. Tumors of the cranial nerves and so on would also have been detected. Given your age it is advisable that you consult with a cardiologist just to ensure that there is no underlying cardiovascular condition. Yes, it could account for some of your symptoms. It is also advisable to follow up with an opthamologist (eye specialist) to exclude certain eye conditions. It really is difficult to say what this could be given that you have undergone so many tests and everything is clear thus far. Another consideration would be anemia and perimenopause although your doctors would have considered this. Do not be misled by the lack of smoking or your age. Many people who do have heart attacks are non-smokers and in their 30s. Of course, smokers and older people are at a much greater risk. If all else fails, consult with a specialist physician and then a psychotherapist. Stress can definitely cause many of the symptoms you are experiencing but it is always advisable for first exclude some of the conditions mentioned above.

  • Cara

    My symptoms have returned and I saw a new neurologist and he ordered another MRI and bloodwork. He said if all comes back normal then we have to dig deeper. Have to admit I’m scared
    To death and trying to deal with this the best I can.
    I have a friend who was diagnosed with guillan barre syndrome and she has some similar symptoms. I just pray I get some answers and can move forward with enjoying life with my family.

  • Cara

    So, after having another MRI with normal results and further bloodwork done, I tested positive for Sjogrens Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. Now, it’s all about following up with a rheumatologist and managing my symptoms.

  • Hi Cara. Thank you for returning to update us. Sjogren’s is one of the most common rheumatological conditions although it is widely heard of. It will require long term management. Good to know that you are seeing a rheumatologist soon.

  • Cara

    Is this something that would be best managed through a rheumatologist, my neurologist or my primary? I’ve already joined some support groups for it and everyone has been very helpful.

  • Hi Cara. A rheumatologist would be the better option. They specialize in autoimmune conditions. Long term management may then be handed over to your primary with occasional follow ups with the rheumatologist.

  • vikas

    Hello, I have been suffering from cervical spondylosis at c3-c4 level since past 2 years. However I have quite a relief now but one problem which as been persistent all my life is that I feel this numbness in my head since past 12 years based on my lifestyle back then I used to play a lot of badminton and I was really good at it playing for longer hours and regularly. However one day I noticed I am feeling numb in my head. I ignored for few days only to realise that it won’t go away my most recent neurologist suggested that whatevr stress you brain is subjected to is reflected in degeneration in your spinal regions I don’t know wat that means. However even that top neurologist from chennai was unable to diagnose the problem for my numb head. However I have taken it as part of my life.

  • Caroline Domanska

    Hi. I recently went for a routine blood test reference fertility and I was found to have low platelets. This has been tested now three times and is dropping, last count 32. Since two weeks now I have had parathesia in my hands, feet and most noticeable on my face, especially my lips. For the first time in my life I have suffered vertigo over the last couple of weeks. Night sweats, fatigue and general muscle tiredness, sore skin, and joints and a tendency to bruise. Have appointment booked to see haematologist but wondered if I should see a neurologist. Any thoughts as to what this might be?

  • Julie

    I am seeking advice from anyone I can.tweleve months ago I began feeling fatigued, with head aches and tooth pain.It was referred pain, I had a bad infection and cavity.I had tooth removed and since then very bad face pain, with head aches and constant exhaustion.I sleep 12 to 19 hours a day.I’m on pain medication that doesn’t work, I e had two nerve blocks, dozens of medications, seen nurologists(3), ent doctors, had MRIS, crazy scans, blood work,xrays, everything the doctors can think of. In addition to the face pain and headaches my neck hurts constantly.nothing showed up on xrays, MRIS, cat scans or blood tests execpt elevated white cell count.my white cell count has been as high as 19,000. I can’t work or do much of anything and there is no known cause, except possible nerve damage.I am 34 years old with no significant medical history except I had my gall bladder out. Any medical professionals here have any suggestions as to where to go next to find a cause and solution?

    JULIE