Causes of Tingling and Numbness – Paresthesia

What Does Tingling, Numbness and Paresthesia Mean?

Paresthesia (Greek para- = abnormal, esthesia = feeling) is abnormal sensation on the skin that has no apparent physical cause (1). Paresthesia includes numbness and tingling, and can be temporary or permanent.

Numbness is a decreased or lost sensation in the skin. Tingling is an unusual sensation in the skin. It is often described as feeling of pins and needles, tickling, pricking, creeping, skin crawling, ant crawling, and so on.

In certain disorders, like restless leg syndrome, tingling, numbness, burning, itchiness and pain may appear simultaneously.

Paresthesia can appear in any part of the body: in the trunk, limbs, fingers, toes, face or head.

Paresthesia and Dermatomes

Sensations are felt and interpreted by the brain. Sensibility of the trunk, limbs and the back of the head is mediated by the spinal nerves, arising from the spinal cord, and sensitivity of the face by Trigeminal nerve (5th cranial nerve), arising from the brainstem. The skin area innervated by a single nerve root of the spinal or Trigeminal nerve is called a dermatome (Latin derma = skin, tome = section), (Picture 1). From the distribution of abnormal skin sensations among dermatomes, a doctor can determine which nerves are affected.

Dermatomes of Human Skin

Picture 1. Dermatomes in a human

Symptoms of Paresthesia

Paresthesia appears without warning, is usually painless, and can be felt as tingling or numbness. Sensitivity of the affected skin part can be increased, but it is usually decreased. Other symptoms, like pain, muscular weakness, cramps, abnormal reflexes, warmth or cool feeling, paleness, redness, swelling or rash may be present, depending on the nature of an underlying disease.

Tingling is sometimes incorrectly described as itchiness. Itchiness provokes desire to scratch, while tingling does not. Burning  is also not the same as tingling, but rather a form of pain.

We often say our arm or leg has fallen asleep, when it becomes temporarily paralysed and numb.

How Does Paresthesia Occur?

Sensations from the skin are carried from the skin via peripheral sensory nerves through the spinal cord, or via Trigeminal nerve and brain stem to the brain. Disorder at any level of these neural pathways can cause paresthesia.

Causes of Transient Paresthesia

Transient paresthesia, lasting from few seconds to several minutes, often described as feeling of ‘pins and needles’, may be due to:

  • Obdormition – numbness caused by prolonged pressure on the nerve, like when you cross your legs and leg falls asleep. Such paresthesia disappears gradually as the pressure is relieved.
  • Whiplash
  • Hyperventilation syndrome
  • Panic attack
  • Dehydration
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes referred as “mini stroke”
  • Beta-alanine ingestion
  • Seizures
  • Raynaud phenomenon
  • Insufficient blood supply in atherosclerotic arteries in the legs (in Burger disease, paresthesia is accompanied with calf pain)

Causes of Chronic Paresthesia

Long lasting or recurring paresthesia can arise from:

  • Brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerve disorders: trauma, stroke, intra-cerebral hemorrhage, multiple sclerosis, tumors, encephalitis, meningitis, herniated disc, cervical spondylosis, pressure on the nerve (carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica), repetitive motion or prolonged vibration, neuralgia
  • Circulatory (heart and vessels) disorders: angina pectoris, atherosclerosis, acute arterial occlusion, vasculitis, Raynaud disease, vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders
  • Metabolic and hormonal disorders: diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, hypoaldosteronism (Conn syndrome), menopause, abnormal blood levels of calcium, potassium or sodium, uremia, porphyria
  • Infections and post-infection syndromes: infection with Herpes simplex virus, Herpes zoster virus, arbovirus; canker sores, Lyme disease, AIDS (HIV), leprosy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, rabies, syphilis
  • Connective tissue and autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren’s syndrome, pernicious anemia, diabetes
  • Blood disorders: thrombosis, polycythemia, thrombocytosis, leukemia
  • Bones and joints disorders: arthritis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nutrient deficiency: vitamin B1 deficiency (beriberi), vitamin B5 and B12 deficiency
  • Malignancies
  • Skin disorders: burns, frostbite, Ito syndrome, acrodynia, acroparesthesia
  • Migraine
  • Psychological disorders: anxiety, panic attack, psychiatric disease
  • Medications: anti-convulsant drugs, lomotil, SSRI withdrawal, amiodarone, colistimethate, digoxin, dimercaprol, mefloquine, riluzole , tetrodotoxin, thallium, topiramate, overdose of lidocain or vit B6
  • Alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs
  • Poisoning: heavy metals (arzenic, lead, mercury), long term exposure to nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, ciguatera poisoning, snake bites
  • Radiation exposure, chemotherapy
  • Hereditary diseases: Refsum syndrome, Fabry disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (a hereditary disorder that causes wasting of the leg muscles), porphyria, Denny-Brown’s syndrome (a hereditary disorder of the nerve root), ataxia-teleangiectasia
  • Immune deficiency

Diagnosis of the Cause of Paresthesia

1. Before appointment with your doctor, answer the following questions:

  • On which parts of your body do you feel tingling or numbness,  and is it limited to one side of the body (left or right)? How would you describe the felling: like numbness, loss of sensation, pricking, creeping, burning, itching, pins and needles…?
  • When did unusual sensation appear, is it permanent or transient? Does sensation change throughout the day?
  • What triggers the sensation: warmth, exercise, sitting, stress, food, medications…?
  • Other symptoms in the affected body part: pain, paleness, redness, swelling, warmth, coolness, cramps, loss of muscular power?
  • Any other general symptoms, like fever or headache?
  • Do you have any chronic disease, like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis? Were you injured or admitted to the hospital in the past from some reason? Which diagnose(s) you have or had so far?
  • Does your work require repetitive motion, are you affected by constant vibrations, or exposed to certain chemicals like nitrogen oxide or carbon monoxide?
  • Are you under stress, are you anxious?
  • What is your diet, do you drink alcohol or smoke, which medications or drugs are you taking?

2. Doctor will examine you, what includes detailed neurological examination.

3. Doctor may order the following tests:

  • MRI or CT of the head and/or spine
  • MRI, CT or X-ray of the chest, abdomen, bones or joints
  • Blood tests: CBC, sedimentation rate, electrolytes, vitamins, sugar, sedimentation rate (ESR), proteins, thyroid hormones, heavy metals, drugs, antibodies to certain microbes, etc.
  • Urine tests: glucose, proteins, etc.
  • Electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction tests
  • Lumbar puncture (only when central nervous system disorders, like multiple sclerosis or meningitis, are suspected)
  • Vascular ultrasound and a cold stimulation test to check for Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Nerve biopsy (rarely)

Treatment of Paresthesia

Treatment of paresthesia depends on the cause. Paresthesia is usually treated by a neurologist.

Home Care

Numbness after prolonged sitting or uncomfortable body position usually goes away after restoring circulation by stretching or massaging the affected limb. If the underlying cause cannot be treated, aspirin or ibuprofen can be tried. In more difficult cases, low dose of antidepressant drugs, such as amitriptyline, are sometimes prescribed to alter body’s perception of pain. In severe cases, opiates, as codeine, can be prescribed (3).

In nutritional deficiency, supplements, like B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B 12, can be tried (3).

Alcohol should be avoided. Self-massage with aromatic oils or ointments containing capsaicin may give temporary relief. Wearing lose shoes, gloves and clothes may also be helpful (3).

Call Emergency if you:

  • Feel weak, walk difficulty, hardly move an arm, have problems with speech or vision
  • Can not control your bladder or bowel
  • Feel numbness after an injury
  • Have lost consciousness, even if only for a while

Call your Doctor if you:

  • Do not know what causes abnormal sensations
  • Find out that numbness worsen during walking (could be pinched sciatic nerve)
  • Have pain, cramps, dizziness
  • Are urinating more often (could be diabetes)
  • Developed a rash you can not explain

Prognosis of Paresthesia

There is no known long-term physical effect from paresthesia itself (2). A disorder causing paresthesia can lead to permanent nerve damage, so this is why you need to visit a doctor, when the cause is uncertain. Prognosis depends on the underlying cause.

Related Articles:


  1. Paresthesia Definition (
  2. Causes of Paresthesia  (
  3. Treatment of paresthesia  (
  4. Disorders of a Single Peripheral Nerve and Numbness  (
  5. Causes of Paresthesia (
  6. Diagnosis of Paresthesia  (
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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  • BN singh

    pl suggest medicine if left side of leg and body senses much cold/hot than right side

    • Jan Modric

      To BN singh.

      I recommend you to visit a neurologist, since symptoms affecting the whole left side of your body can arise from a disorder in your brain.

  • Young Kim

    I had severe ankle injury 6months ago. I was athlete so I was extremely fit. I had good diet and active life style. After injury I lost a lot of strength ony leg but when doctor told me my ankle was ready to go I started noticing stiff pain on my foot in the morning and constant numbness and tingling sensation started from foot but expanded towards my back. My hip feels numb and weird the most when I sit. Walking doesn’t make me feel better because I have tight leg and my feets look over pronated and arch flattened. I started having anxiety often and I feel worse when I take caffeine. I know I should see a new doctor but before that I would like to know at least what kind of symptom it is…

    • Jan Modric

      Young Kim,

      yes, I recommend you to see a doctor – an orthopedist or neurologist. Numbness and tingling after an injury is usually from pressure upon the nerve – either in the foot or at any spot along the nerve path up to the spine. One of the investigations you can expect is a CT or MRI of your lumbar spine.


    I have tingling on my right arm, beginning mainly around the elbow and going into the fingers. When I press the center of my palm, the feeling worsens. Would this be early symptom of stroke or heart attack? I do find myself sleeping on that side and arm but am trying to sleep on the other side.

    • Jan Modric


      my first thought is some localized disorder in your arm, possibly in the elbow. Leaning upon elbows during a computer work or a slight injury of the elbow could be the cause. It’s true that such tingling could appear in a heart disease or stroke, but rarely as an isolated symptom. If you’re worried, I recommend you to see your doctor.

  • Bob P

    asking about my son…L-5 cartledge herniation (he had auto accident 5 months ago) much back pain, but now developed right leg pain and tingling in toes of right foot)1st Q…can this (herniated disk)be result of accident 5 months ago with muscle weakness over time …..he took cortisone shot last week, hoping it will help…he is also complaining about the bottom of foot…no pain but like walking on pads or numbness there but unusual sensation…Doc’s shrug their shoulders…..what can it be???

    • Jan Modric

      Bob P,

      yes, symptoms appearing months after the accident are possible.

  • as


  • Tammy

    I have been having numbness on the right side of my body along with tingling and sometimes burning or cold feeling. it starts at the top of the right side of my head down my face my shoulder arm and hand then goes down my leg to my foot. it really bothers me. it’s non stop and never goes away. my hand feels heavy and i have pain in the nuckls. I have been gettin craps in my right leg. it seems to get worse at night when i go to bed or set. I want to know whats wrong with me and if i can make go away.

    • Jan Modric


      numbness and other symptoms appearing on one side of the body may arise from the brain. You may want to visit a neurologist.

  • cd

    Hi ,
    I am 25 yrs Male. have a history of panic and anxiety attacks which used to occur (once in 6 months or a year) due to excess stress. Recently after i started controlling diet and running( did for 15 days now discontinued) , i am getting burning in both feet, sometimes hands too. lower back and thigh cramps. twitches in various parts of body. Right leg pain in morning but goes away after warm up. I am worrying more abt this and getting anxious. Brain MRI is clear. B12 level is 240. blood sugar is normal. tspine is clear. lspine shows slight bulge in l5-l6. able to do all activities normally but feel weak and shaky. kindly suggest

    • Jan Modric


      a bulging disc at L5 can cause symptoms in the lower back, thighs and feet. Tight sport shoes could result in tarsal tunnel syndrome (see the link below). Cramps and twitches could be from hard exercise, but this should go away in few days after stoppinng exercising.

      Symptoms in hands could be from a pinched nerves in the cervical spine. Or from a wrist overuse.

      Besides vitamin B12, other vitamins from B complex, folate, iron, potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium imbalance can cause abnormal sensations and muscular cramps.

      Here is an article about tingling legs.

  • cd

    Been 3 months since i discontinued excercise. eating normally . mostly veg food. still getting the symptoms.

  • elliec11

    hi, i work as a gardener and use lawnmowers ,whiper snippers,that cause alot of vibration. Recentley i have been getting tingling feelings from the elbow down and fingertips are tingling as well,my hands are quite puffy and i feel like i dont have a strong grip ,any ideas

  • Kasee

    I have a c-6 spinal chord injury which left me paralyzed, it happened 7 years ago. I stay in bed pretty much all the time now. I have a pressure sore at the top of my leg (it looks like a cold sore). In the past few weeks my lower extremities got numb and then it expanded throughout the rest of my body. In the past few days my face got numb. Now it is worse and my head is numb too. Now my face is so numb that my teeth are too? Is this serious? What is going on with me and what should I do?

    • Jan Modric


      it sounds, like a neurological problem that may arise from the brain, so I recommend you to consult a neurologist.

  • cheryl44951

    I am 39 and have arthritis of lower spine due to an injury to my Sacroiliac joints/pelvic area from an accident. On top of that I have Scoliosis which was controlled by back brace growing up. Lately, I have had a hard time getting out of bed in morning. My back is very stiff, my hip joints hurt sometimes if I lay on side. My right leg has tingling mostly in foot area but it has occurred in thigh to knee also while driving car on trip. I have had light-headedness and headaches lately too. It really scares me getting out of hot tub when my feet start to tingle like pins and needles even after only 15 minutes in 98* water. I know that being overweight and sitting at a computer all day don’t help at all and that some of these symptons could also be Diabetes, but I keep thinking that they are really related to my back injuries. Do I see my orthopaedic doctor, neurologist or just my regular doctor first? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Jan Modric


      regarding the spinal issues you’ve mentioned, an orthopedist could be appropriate choise. Your hip/leg symptoms sound like sciatica to me, but I’m not sure about the cause of lightheadedness and headache. You can check this personal medical history questionnaire to get prepared for a doctor appointment.

  • ahmad

    ana b7es enou fi chi 3ama yemchi bi 3rou2i aw ta7at el jelad b7es fa2a2i3 bi jesmi ya3ni b7es enou jelad 3ama yet7arak 3ama yetla3 w yenzel fa chou sababa haida ???? arjou el rad

    • Jan Modric


      can you translate your question into English?

  • thembie

    my right leg toes are numb since april 2010. please prescribe for me some medication for this. I cant even wear shoes.thembi dlamini swaziland. desparate.

    • Jan Modric


      to try to help you finding the cause of your problem with toes, I would need to know:
      – do you feel the toes when you touch them?
      – is there any tingling or pain
      – is there any change on the skin?
      – are ALL your right toes affected?
      – do you have any problems with the foot or leg?
      – do you have any chronic disease, have you injured yourself before numbness has appeared?

  • bala71261

    I’m 48 year old healthy man who went to gym three times a week and did a lot of weight training. I developed slight pins and needles on my lower left leg in March 2110. That moved to whole left leg, left arm and now all over my body except my head. I have now constant burning/tingling sensation everywhere and occasional numbness in fingures. I have had all the blood tests two MRIs on my head,cervical,lumber and sacral.Head was clear any lesions, but all cervical disks are dehydrated, C3-4 lost height, there is a minimal bilateral exit foraminal narrowing caused by neuro central joint hypertrophy, in lumber sacral L1-2 and L3-4 disks slightly dehydrated and lost small amout of height, L3-4 on the left is far lateral disk protrusion but this does not impinge upon L-3 nerve root. My Neurologists recommended physiotherapy two months ago but no improvement.I am currently seeing a chiropractor, will he fis me? Please explain the Radiographer’s comments, are my symptoms in line with these findings? Is there anything that I can do to get better?

    • Jan Modric


      from distribution of your symptoms on the left side of the body, and face not been affected, it sounds likely, that the problem is in your spine. Some disorders were confirmed, and they are symptoms you have that speak for severity of a disorder and not an extent of abnormalities seen on the MRI image. A small disorder, as seen on MRI, can result in severe symptoms.

      I don’t know how experienced your current chiropractor is. I recommend you to discuss with an educated, experienced physiotherapist or orthopedist about eventual exercises. If exercises do not help, you can ask about surgery, which often solves the problems with the spine. Some neurosurgeons or orthopedists may be reluctant to perform surgery due to “small” spinal changes, so first think, if you have used your physiotherapeutic options completely…In two months of exercises, I guess, there should be at least some sign of either you can ask about exercises, matress, sleeping position…something else or start to think about surgery. Painkillers won’t likely solve anything on the long term.

  • YCPC

    Hi, I am 21 yrs old …I have been having some issues with my right side of mu upper back on my shoulder blade area… I feel numbness, pain, burning sensation, it feels as if i have something crawling on my back, and sometimes when i scratch the feeling is painful.. im scared so i avoid the doctor. I also feel that i have a hormone disorder, i also sometimes wake up in the middle of the night due to the pain i feel… from my back but also from my wrists.. i fear i might have carpotunnel any advice?
    🙂 i am a wreck!

    • Jan Modric


      pain in the shoulder blade and in the wrist could arise from a pinched nerve in the cervical spine, for example. An orthopedist or neurologist should be able to give you a diagnosis. An experienced physiotherapist could show you some exercises, you can also try to find a sleeping position that does not cause pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by a wrist overuse or wrist inflammation.

  • bala71261

    Hi Jan Modric,
    Thank you for your prompt and positive response.
    Unfortunately, I am still worried about the possible MS as these symptoms have not gone away and its 24/7 except when I am asleep after three months of rigorous exercises, chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Moreover, as per Radiologist’s report although there was far lateral disk protrusion on the left of L3-4 disk, this does not impinge upon L-3 nerve root, hence it may not be sciatica.
    Is there anything else that I can do to alleviate the worry of potential MS?

    • Jan Modric


      what I can say from here is that if MRIs of the brain and cervical cord were free of any lesions, MS is unlikely. If MS is still suspected, a lumbar puncture to check the cerebrospinal fluid can be performed by a neurologist, but first, I would still consider your spine (discs) as the cause of the symptoms. With all these changes in several discs, it’s quite likely that L3-L4 or lower discs are also affected to some extent. Besides that, a disc inflammation in some cases may spread down the psoas muscle on one or both sides and cause leg pain. I recommend you to discuss with an experienced orthopedist.

  • KellyS

    I have stayed in a hotel for work for seven months now, and just two nights in all that time I have had a scary experience. The first night a strange feeling woke me from my sleep- my chest, neck, lips, and the bottom of my tongue were numb. I got out of bed, stretched, took some deep breaths, and gave it some time but didn’t feel any better. I went to the ER but they couldn’t say what was wrong- they guessed an allergic reaction but said I was in no immediate danger and sent me on my way. The second time was many months later, in a different hotel. I was about to fall asleep but a strange feeling kept waking me just at the point of falling asleep. It’s almost like I’m worried that I’m going to stop breathing if I fall asleep, although there is nothing directly blocking my breath. My chest just feels very numb and when I lay down I feel as though I am not breathing deeply enough. No extremities are numb; just chest, neck, and lips. I then sit up, scared to sleep, and sometimes when i swallow there is a feeling like there is something in my chest that is in the way. It is in no way painful. These incidents have occurred the first night at new hotels. Does this sound like an allergic reaction?

    • Jan Modric


      it can be an allergic reaction, and an allergologist can help you to find an exact cause. Regarding it happened at first days in hotels, the reaction could be possibly stress related. Fear about stopping breathing could actually arise from somewhat narrowed small breathing airways, as a part of the reaction.

  • Rueben

    Hello, yes I have left side numbness and all throughout lower half of my body been going on for over 2 months. Tingling,burning thighs and toes are truly painful when walking and the MRI showed nothing as well as both nerve test he performed. Suppose to do another MRI this time with dye to see better he says what else could be done and what is the cause, please.Thanks

    • Jan Modric


      pain in the leg aggravated by walking could arise either from the lumbar spine (a pinched nerve) or a blood/vascular problem (thrombosis or vasculitis), for example. Thrombosis and vasculitis can be excluded by blood tests in most cases. Spinal disorders that appear small on MRI, may cause a lot of symptoms, so a neurologist or orthopedist can say, if a more detailed investigation could show something new in your case.

  • bala71261

    Dear Jan,

    Once again thank you very much for your response to my question of 23rd Sep 2010.

    Whilst I am waiting to see a Consultant Orthopaedic & Spinal Surgeon on 12th November, owing to the unremitting burning, tingling, prickling, occasional numbness and recently developed involuntary muscle twitching all over my body and insect crawling feeling in my head, I went see another Neurologist on 4th October. He conducted the usual rapid alternating movements, point-to-point movements, gait and reflexes test. Although he was happy with my responses, he ordered an EMG test rule out potential sinister diseases.

    I am generally a real worrier and a very anxious person. Hence, this involuntary muscle twitching makes me worried about ALS (MND) and Fibromyalgia. Insect crawling in my head makes me crazy.

    It has been over three months and no improvement. Could you please, please advice?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jan Modric


      it is important to say in which exact part of the head you have an insect crawling feeling: back of the head, left or right, or face. Symptoms in the back of the head (up to the top) may arise from cervical spine. Symptoms in the face could arise from the brain or brainstem, but abnormal sensations appearing in the whole body )face, trunk, limbs) could be also from iron, vit B12, potassium deficiency, dehydration, low blood pressure… So there can be spinal (vertebra, discs), neurological or systemic (mineral/vitamin deficiencies) causes. It is a neurologist that can confirm/exclude ALS. ALS would be likely suspected from a neurological examination. Read about typical ALS symptoms. Physiotherapy not helping you does not mean your symptoms do not arise from the spine. Physiotherapy may help only in relatively mild spinal disorders, but you have reported quite extensive changes in your spine.

  • bala71261

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks again to your prompt response.

    The insect crawling feeling is all over my head, different places at different times, left, right, top etc. Also, occasional muscle twitching on small area of right side of my face and underneath my left eye. In addition, muscle twitches all over my body, but no muscle weaknesses. Apparently, burning sensation in general doesn’t associate with ALS, is this true?

    I am booked for an EMG on Monday, the 11th October 2010 will revert back to you with the feedback.

    Many thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      ALS affects motor functions (walking, speaking, holding things in hands…), not sensory functions.

  • Alex

    Hello! My name is Alex and I’m 24. For the last 12 years I had sometimes some numbness in the back of my head. It usualy happens when I turn my head very quickly. But this does not happen very often. I had even 6 months between two similar numbness. It also appeared with a little pain and some quick dizziness. It lasts between 1 to 10 min. With how quickly I turn my head the more agressive it gets. I want to say again that this is not happening every time I turn my head. It’s happening randomly and without any simptoms before. Thank you very much

    • Jan Modric


      numbness and dizziness after quick turn of the head can be due to a temporarily compromised circulation in the vertebral arteries, which run in the upper neck along with the spine. This is called a vertebral artery syndrome, which can be caused by anatomical reasons, spinal arthritis, atherosclerosis of the vertebral artery or other causes. I can’t say, if you have this syndrome, but if you are concerned or if symptoms are getting worse, you may ask a neurologist for appropriate investigations.

  • Alex

    Thank you very much for your promptness, I will consider your advice.


    Every time I try to slowly discontinue my Effexor XR I end up getting “brain zaps” and shock-like sensations all over my body. Is there anything that can help for these side effects when discontinuing the Effexor? Please help!

    • Jan Modric


      you can search online for “effexor withdrawal” to see that others also have these side effects after stopping the drug. I recommend you to speak with your doctor how exactly to reduce the dose or whatever else needs to be done. I can’t provide any reliable answer from here.

  • Sandesh

    I went on a hike with a 11kg pack. The weight of the pack was incorrectly balanced; the right side was heavier. Afterwards, I lost feeling in both arms and had difficulty raising them above my head. Though the feeling in my arm increased after a couple of days, it is still weak, stiff, slow to bend and has reduced feeling from the shoulder to elbow a week later. My wrist bends awkwardly sometimes too. The teacher said I had too much pressure on an artery,
    I went to the doctor 4 days after the injury and he said it was probably a torn ligament or pulled muscle, but it doesn’t seem right to me. Could you help me out? Thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      an orthopedist can examine you and tell what is the possible cause. It could be some trapped nerve in the armpit, for example.

  • heb331

    i am a 33 yr old female who for the last 6 months have had terrible lower back pain (have had this for over a yr), tingling & weak feeling in legs & feet, pain in ankles, and tight band feeling across abdomen. MRIs, xrays, lp all fine. ana b postive blood test. doctors have no diagnosis.

    • Jan Modric


      ANA antibodies speak for some rheumatic disorder (rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, Sjogren syndrome, systemic sclerosis). If you can provide the exact name of the antibodies (and eventual doctor’s comment), I can maybe narrow down the possibilities. A rheumatic disorder can cause arthritis in the spine resulting in pinched nerves that supply the trunk and legs. Joints in the leg can be also affected by arthritis. A rheumatologist could give you a diagnosis.

  • mrir

    i am 32 female ,post delivery .baby lost because gestational bp .after 1 month i have been crambing on my back head,here and there .some times more can not work that time .bp ok i am little released that terrible stress. even though i have itching,numbness,paining and burning .sleep is more than before. slight swelling on the left wrist .kinly answer this problem

    • Jan Modric


      where do you feel itch, pain, burning and numbness? Are symptoms constant or are triggered or relieved by something?

  • ashlee

    hi, i have been on nuvaring for 9 months now, i had two different episodes one in april and one in june when i had my 1st side effect of nuva being that i had an aura(migraine). i haven’t had any other side effects up until last week when i started to get a numbness feeling in my right arm, mainly from my hand into my wrist and into my elbow. i’ve done some research on websites saying that it could be a side effect of the nuvaring, but it could also be carpal tunnel. i work at a pharmacy and do repetetive movements with both my right and left hand. i am left handed. i also sleep on my right side of body and my right arm usually goes numb every night. i try to reposition, but prefer sleeping on my right side. i am going to talk with my b.c doctor/nurse and see if she thinks its due to the nuvaring, or if it could be a pinched nerve. i am curious and a worried as well.

    • Jan Modric


      it’s possible that NuvaRing has either caused the tingling or aggravated symptoms of eventual preexisting condition in your wrist or cervical spine (from where the nerves for the arms arise.

  • Openrev2

    I’ve been experiencing some strange burning and tingling in my face arms and legs for the past 2 years now it really hurts. sometimes i feel very cold and sometimes very hot and experience a lot of back back pain. Dont have a neurologist in my country. have done a lot of test which proved negative very confused dont know what to do someone please advice.

    • Jan Modric


      it’s important you write down all your symptoms, do they appear on one or both sides of the body, eventual symptoms triggers or relievers and any other relevant circumstances, since this can help the doctor to narrow down possible causes. I agree that a neurologist may be an appropriate doctor to examine you.

  • sudhakar

    I feel burning sensation in my skin portions of abdomen,chest,armpits from two months after recovering from dengue fever.i also feel numbness & quick dizziness,insect crawling in backside of my head.please someone advise what is my condition.

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to visit a neurologist or the doctor who gave you a diagnosis of dengue fever. What you’ve described are neurological symptoms – the nerves, spinal cord or brain can be affected.

  • Saurabh


    I’ve been experiencing tingling on my arms and legs and also burning sensations on the palm of my hands. I am also suffering from pain in my right leg from last week or so, which worsens while walking and gets better when I rest. Could you please suggest any medicine for this pain.

    • Jan Modric


      a spinal disorder or a vessel or blood disorder could cause symptoms you’ve mentioned, but it is your primary doctor who can examine you and decide if you need to be checked by a specialist. Because I’m not sure about the cause of your pan, I don’t dare to recommend you any medication.

  • joyellen

    Jan when I wake up sometimes at night and I am laying on my back I feel numbness and tingling in my upper body.This goes away when I get out of bed. Do you have any idea what could be causing this.I am a 52 year old female in fair health.

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms in arms due to a cervical spine disorder, like a bulging disc, can worsen at night. A neurologist or orthopedist can give an exact diagnosis; maybe a CT or MRI of the spine will be needed.

  • M. Tahir

    My wife is suffering from undefine health problem, Imbalance in walking, thing that she will fall, moving pain in all over head, neck muscle spasm, trinking in arms and hands when she is going to bed,
    MRI test is clear, and all other test even ear test is clear. but she feels contineously pressure in her head. can you help me in this regards,

    Thanks and best regards,

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi M.Tahir

      Even though the MRI is clear, this does not rule out many possibilities. Your wife needs to see a neurologist immediately. While the possibility of a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack which precedes a stroke) is a concern here, there is also a possibility that this is the start of a neurodegenerative condition. Another possibility is that severe muscle spasm, possibly compounded by other causes of nerve root compression may be causing many of these symptoms. Your wife’s doctor will assess here and try to exclude the most likely cause based on her current health status, medical history and so on. It is however important to consult with a neurologist at this stage.

  • enas

    since 3 days my mother develops sensation of numbness and tingling in her feet with feeling of swelling as well
    this is associated with feeling of pain of whole arms starting from the shoulders to the fingers with feeling of numbness as well
    these episodes start at evening and she became fine in the morning
    she is not hypertensive not diabetic
    she is above 40 years (menopause)

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Enas

      Being in her 40s and menopausal does put her at risk of various cardiovascular diseases that could account for these symptoms. She may be experiencing venous insufficiency which is a problem with the veins in the legs or this peripheral edema could be a sign of heart problems. The problems with her upper limbs may or may not be related. If your mother is overweight, the risks of what I just discussed is greatly increased. She needs to see a doctor as this could be the early signs of more serious conditions – like a stroke or heart failure.

  • caroline

    In November 06 l had an op to remove the ducts from my right breast due to numerous absesses.Since then i have been troubled by left arm parathesia sevier chest pain carpo pedal spasms spasms all over my body it has shown on xrays that my nech muscles also spasm nurologist also mentioned restless leg syndrome hemicranialigraines my neck left si#de of neck burns this week went to gp i couldent move my head from left to right without pain shooting from left side of neck down my shoulder he said that i have a trapped nerve i have had all test nerve conduction and bloods done all good alldr say its stress im confused please help

  • shad

    hi, I have tingling in my body, it starts 2 days a go. It was only on my left hand but now it’s on my left part of my body , but not on my legs. only arm, chest, back and abdominal.
    what could it be? what’s cuses it ?
    I went to the GB yesterday, she only give me a pain releve ( nurofen )
    do I need to do anything ? do i need to something like x-ray or so ?
    Thank you

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Shad

      As you can see in the article above, there are many possible causes. A lot depends on you age, medical history, current health status and so on. It could be the first symptoms of a heart problem, stroke and so on. However, you don’t report other symptoms. It could even be related to nerves supplying this area stemming from an impingement in the neck or along its course. What is of concern though is that the extent of the area is spreading. Certain viral infections of the nerve can causes these symptoms so also take note of muscle weakness in these areas. Intracranial (within the part of the skull where the brain sits) tumors, abscesses and other growths and even raised intracranial pressure may also be causing these symptoms. Go back to your GP and report the fact that symptoms are spreading. Further investigation may be warranted and even a referral to a neurologist.

  • M. Tahir

    Thank you very much respected Dr. chris, Now with other symtoms, she feel weakness specially in her legs and continuously embalance in walking, and fear of falling in walking as feels dissiness in walking as well as in lying position. Also she can not able to hears the telephone call after 2 or 3 minutes,

    • Dr. Chris


      She needs to see a doctor immediately. I don’t think this is the platform to answer these question and trying to seek answers online is wasting time and probably putting her life and well being at risk.

  • candace m.

    Hi. I am an 18 year old female experiencing numbness and SOME “creepy crawly-ness” all over.Absolutely everywhere.

    Face, hands, arms, legs, feet, head.

    I’m otherwise completely healthy and have had no medical complications ever.


  • Jamie

    I have a history of fabrys disease in my family. My older sister had kidney failure and a transplant at 21 years old. I’m currently 24, and I’ve been experiencing numbness in my right calve periodically, usually expanding over several days. I also have excessive sweating, and a low tolerance for temperature changes. A few years ago I had an ultrasound of my kidneys and everything was normal except I have one kidney larger than the other. I am a recent graduate and currently not working, therefore I don’t have a job where I’m doing repetitive motions, and I exercise 5 times a week.

  • van

    Hi I am 35 yrs old female, I noticed 2 days ago , my skin is numb all over and also got itchiness all over. When i scratch my skin i do no feel any sensation at all. I want to know why I am having this and what can be done to combat this problem. Thanks

    • Hi Van. There are many possible causes. Itching is a common symptom but the part about it being numb is a bit worrying. Itching with numbness is sometimes seen in conditions like multiple sclerosis and neurodermatitis. You should see your doctor as soon as possible. It may not be any of these conditions but the only way to know for sure is once your doctor assesses the symptoms.


    I am 67 years old ,I have numbness in my hands and feet due to poor circulation ,I get out of breath easily ,today my lips feel numb ,this is unusual ,I am on waiting list to see someone at the hospital,for further tests ,for circulation problems ,I also get easily tired ,cant walk to far ,in the last few months my health has gotten worse ,I have had high blood pressure for 30 years

    • Hi Aggie. These symptoms are concerning. From what you say the circulatory problem does not seem limited to just your limbs. It appear that there is a bigger problem at hand here and it is advisable that you seek medical attention immediately. While conditions like Raynaud’s phenomenon can cause the hand/feet and lip symptoms, the other concern is cardiac problems especially since you have a long history of high blood pressure. Conditions such as cardiac failure and fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema) comes into question at this point. Only your doctor can say for sure. If you cannot get your doctor immediately and your symptoms are getting worse then you should go off to the ER. Hopefully it is nothing serious but there is no way of saying for sure until you have been assessed by a medical professional.

  • Kat

    I am a 31 year old female. late last year i woke up one morning with a pins and needles sensation and numbness to my skin all over my body. This lasted a whole month before the symptoms changed to whenever i leant forward i wound get a “ripple” like wave of numbness and pins and needles radiating from my stomach to all over my body but would only last a few seconds after i got out of that position. This symptom too lasted a month. During this time the hospital and doctors ran all sorts of tests. My blood was normal, a mri on my brain was normal, ct on my spine was normal, tests for carpal tunnel was normal and they were convinced I didn’t have a stroke. In the end I was just told to monitor the situation
    Two days ago I woke up with pins and needles all over the left side of my body only.
    On the first day they were light but today seem a bit stronger.
    I’m at a loss as to what I should do

    • Hi Kat. There are many possible causes for your symptoms but in all likelihood this does indicate a nerve-related problem. However, some viral illnesses, autoimmune conditions and even certain medication can cause similar symptoms yet it may not be a nerve-related problem entirely. It is advisable to monitor these symptoms closely, as your doctor said, and note down when and why these symptoms may have started. It is also advisable that you go back to your doctor and seek further assessment. You may need to see a neurologist at this point and will need a referral.

  • Joanna Cowley

    Hi. I am 31yo female. I have been experiencing tingling sensations to the back of my arms bilaterally and my entire torso. I only notice this when I’m sitting still or trying to fall asleep. It is extremely aggravating, like ants are crawling on my skin. I have been receiving chiropractic adjustments for months now. Not sure if that could have caused such widespread symptoms.

    • Hi Joanna. This feeling like ants are crawling on your skin is a symptom known as formication. There are many possible causes but considering that it is happening on both arms simultaneously, it is very likely to be a nerve related problem. Cannot say for sure whether the chiropractic adjustments did have something to do with it or not. It may be a problem with nerve root compression, shingles and so on. Speak to your doctor and have it assessed.

  • Dawn

    Hi, I’m a 41 year old female that has started a new job in the last month. I have had this constant numbness, tingling/burning sensation in my head and it lasts all day. I also have the same feeling on the upper part of my back and neck especially when my hair or anything touches it. I also have burning in both ears and I am having a very hard time sleeping. Any ideas of what’s going on?

    • Hi Dawn. The symptoms alone can be due to a host of different conditions and without an adequate medical history or the results of some investigations by a doctor, it is difficult to say for sure. This may be stress-related in terms of the upper back and neck being in spasm, which in turn can impact on the nerves originating from the spine. This is known as nerve root compression. Posture and strain are two major contributors but there could be other issues at play here. It would be advisable to have this checked by a doctor.

  • Carol

    my husband is 64 years old his feet are numb his feet and legs are swollen. He can’t hardly walk it takes him a long time to get out of a chair or bed sometimes I have to help him get out of his chair. They have done 2 MRI’s and a nerve test we haven’t found out the results from his neurologist on the last MRI and nerve test. They have put him on a pain pill they pain was so bad he was having really bad thoughts. Does any one have any ideas.

    • Hi Carol. It all depends on how suddenly this arose but from we gather from the information you have provided, this has been ongoing for some time. The cold and numbness are highly suggestive of a circulatory (blood circulation) problem. The arteries may be narrowed, there could be a clot of the veins may be “weak” and dysfunctional. He may need a doppler scan at this point to verify it. It could also be due to a nerve related but it would be unlikely to present with swelling and coldness.

  • Jeriel

    HI, I have this numbness and tingling feeling on my right side of my chest. It started last week when I start taking antibiotics(clarithromycin) for my cough. Also my right side lower back of head there is something that is not normal. After taking medicine my problem seems to become worse. Actually my right side of my back also have this kind of feeling and have this for 2 years now.

    • Hi Jeriel. It is difficult to say for sure but this could very likely be a condition like a pinched nerve since it has been persisting somewhat for 2 years now. Numbness and tingling is a side effect of some types of antibiotics. Sometimes it can be a sign of a reaction to the antibiotic. Either way you should discuss this with your doctor. But it is possible that the worsening of the symptoms may have nothing to do with the medication. Let your doctor assess the situation and provide you with a more definitive answer.

  • Terry Hoffman

    what should I do I have no feelings in my hands my legs are so numb I have a hard time balancing my stomach is numb my back is numb right side face my ace is numb

    • Hi Terry. Sudden numbness, no matter where it is in the body, requires immediate medical attention. It could a number of possible causes ranging from a circulatory problems (even a mild stroke) to compression of nerve roots to certain viral infections. There is no way of saying for sure until you see a doctor and undergo the necessary investigations. See your doctor immediately. Delaying further could lead to complications that can be very serious.

  • qm

    I sleep on my side (often on my arms) and have lately been obsessively touching my eyebrows almost all day (high anxiety lately). Now my right arm is tingly near the armpit and the skin on my right breast is numb. Should I try stopping the eyebrow touching and sleeping on my back and see if it goes away or should I see a doctor? I see how they could be related, but I’m also worried it might not be and instead indicate something more serious?


    • Hi qm. It is always useful to verify whether lifestyle habits/behaviors are causing symptoms that you may be experiencing. Sleeping on one side, especially where you are compressing your nerves or blood vessels, can account for numbness and tingling. Similarly these symptoms may occur with anxiety disorders. However, delaying medical treatment can also lead to complications. If you are in doubt then rather see a doctor immediately. It is better to identify a medical condition as early as possible and start treatment sooner rather than later for a better outcome.

  • Joseph

    Hi I’m 37 going on my 5th year with end stage kidney disease. For the last two years I have been experiencing full body numbness/tingling and body cramping that comes and goes. I’ve noticed severe leg cramping and numbness during car rides to the point of not having control of my legs. None of my labs ever show anything out of the ordinary and all attempts to explain and fix this problem have come up unanswered. This page is the best description of my symptoms I have seen. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Joseph

    • Hi Joseph. Numbness, tingling and cramps are symptoms stage 5 CKD. So it is not unexpected given your condition and the time that and has passed since it was first identified. Even though you may have not experienced these symptoms before and your condition does not seem to have worsened, it is still possible for these symptoms arise. You should discuss this with your nephrologist.

  • Alex Jane Johnson

    Hi, for the past 2 nights i’ve been having a tingling and numbness feeling down my left side from top of head to my hand, it happens when I am laying down. It started with a feeling like I had some bug walking down my cheek and jaw (tickling me) and when I went to get it off my face I could not feel a thing it was like It wasn’t my face I was touching. I still had full mobility of everything, it was just the skin, the side of the top of my head had (as well as numbness) the feeling of “goosebumps”

    • Hi Alex. Many of the symptoms you are describing are broadly termed as paresthesias which means an abnormal sensation. Tingling, prickling, formication (feeling of bugs crawling) and so on are paresthesias that occur with many nerve-related conditions. However, it could also be linked to momentary disruptions in the blood flow to the brain. Paresthesias are seen as symptoms in some many conditions that it’s difficult to say for sure. You should see your GP and then possibly get a referral to a neurologist.

  • wanda

    I’m 51 female and numbness and tingling all over my body and face and lower pain in my adominal area .

    • Hi Wanda. The information you have provided is very scanty. It is difficult to provide any guidance beyond what is discussed in the article above or posted on user comments here. You should see your doctor especially since there are a number of conditions that are common in your age group which could cause these symptoms. Some of these conditions could even be life-threatening. Your doctor may need to refer you to a neurologist.

  • Hi JoPo. Intoxication could cause such symptoms, be it with alcohol, illicit drugs and certain prescription medication, but caffeine is unlikely to do so. You should have this checked up by a doctor because this could be the early signs of some degenerative neuromuscular diseases. It is difficult to say for sure what this could be but since these diseases can be very debilitating it is best that it is diagnosed as early as possible. In this way treatment can be commenced as soon as possible. Don’t be too concerned just yet. There may be harmless cause but it is advisable to have this checked up by a doctor.

  • caroline lewis

    Hi l have had tingling sensation and feels like mites are crawling over me.It keeps me wide awake at nite.It has started in my hair too horrible itchy sensation.I am not sure if this is a cat allergy.

    • Hi Caroline. It could be due to a cat allergy if you are in close contact with cats. The only way to say for sure is to have a blood test to confirm it is an allergic reaction and then follow up with a skin prick test to confirm the possible trigger of the allergy. It is important to have this assessed by a doctor. Itching is not always due to an allergy. It could be other skin diseases. The sensation of bugs crawling on your skin is also known as formication and apart from skin diseases, it is also seen with some nerve-related disorders. Your doctor will be able to advise you further.

    • caroline lewis

      Thankyou HealthHype the imformation you have given me about my condition has really helped.Thanks caroline lewis

  • Teresa Grant West

    My problem is hard to explain. When I sit back with head, neck and back leaning against couch or chair, and when lying down, my head, neck, shoulders and back get painful and numb at the same time. It’s very uncomfortable and I am on my 4 th day of very little sleep. I have not injured myself. The only thing I know is I was diagnosed by my internist a year ago that I have degenerative scoliosis. The only way I am comfortable is to sit not leaning back and standing. Strange. Any ideas?

    • Hi Teresa. The change in posture may be contributing to compression of one or more nerve roots which can cause these symptoms. The exact cause of the pinched nerve and whether it is related to your scoliosis or not can only be explained by a doctor after running further diagnostic investigation like an MRI. By correcting the compression (if this is the cause) these symptoms should resolve. Speak to your doctor. Given your scoliosis you should be consulting with an orthopedic specialist on a regular basis.

      • Teresa Grant West

        Thank you!!!

      • Teresa Grant West

        Thank you! I’m impressed that I actually got an answer! Great website!!

  • KaiHarate

    (First, I apologize for long post but just wanted to give as much background as possible)

    Hi. Prior to this information I’m sharing, I almost reached the age of 50 (8 months ago) with literally no problems at all. I have been remarkably fortunate and lucky to never have any medical event in my life other then a sprained ankle poison ivy and things like that to happen to any normal person. I look very young still for my age. Then kind out of nowhere some stuff has hit me and it’s scary due to nerve stuff it seems.

    I have tingling numbness similar to what is discussed here as well as a few other strange sensations popping up. If a winter storm doesn’t ruin it, I will see a doctor on Monday. I’d liked to post here anyway due to quality feedback observed and mature crowd interacting (very refreshing not to read a crazy comment section! Lol

    I’ll share three events that happened in the last 11 months may or may not be contributing to recent things. (Please excuse grammar since I’m using voice recognition on iPad). It’s been quite a year usually I have no health stories or events.
    1) 11 months ago I woke up with severe vertigo like those astronaut training chairs. I have never in my life experienced anything like this – sudden and severe. It happened upon waking so possible started while sleeping. I had it for about 20 seconds even though it seemed to go on forever it was actually relatively short. I felt quite sick and nauseous but I did not throw up and in a couple hours I was pretty much back to feeling normal although that feeling of it persisted for days. I have never had another spinning episode but I have noticed upon lying down flat on my back and I turn my head up and to the right I can almost bring it on again. My cousin, uncle, and sister in law (is a registered nurse) told me they had the same thing but much worse and they had inner ear issue so maybe not related to my recent sensations happening 11 months after vertigo but I can’t dismiss it either.
    2) In June I was bitten by a yellow jacket right on my eyelid unfortunately I can’t recall which eye and I have no photos from that time to research. My eye puffed out considerably and there was a redness and darkness around eye although I quickly recovered from that and I had no issues with vision, pain, discomfort.
    3)Shortly after that I got a tick on my left inner thigh. I live in Connecticut about an hour from the town of Lyme which Lyme disease is named from. It is common around here to get ticks and it is very common for people in this area to have Lyme disease (and some may not realize it). I did not have the distinct red spot bite and I did take tick off within 32 hours at least but it did itch intensely for weeks. Unfortunately the place I sent the tick to have check lost the sample were not able to verify if it had Lyme disease. I did not get the flu like and sickness feeling most people with Lyme disease get right away, but it was quite an itch in that region and it is not far from where I am now feeling a pinch pain if I walk too much at a certain pace. When I research online the symptoms I have can be many things but it mostly seems to be very similar to what people with the late detected Lyme disease describe – but also what is discussed here – very strange things start happening though there is controversy in the medical community whether that is true or not concerning Lyme disease. The yellow-jacket bee sting I’ve never heard of anybody having delayed responses but it is interesting that most of the things that have started ( left eye and facial tingling numbness) are near sting area and numbness/is similar to after bee bite feeling. That is where the very initial things I noticed before the numbness seemed to be traveling randomly and down the body. From that eye.

    I have a doctors appointment scheduled for this Monday. It’s a new doctor because I have new healthcare. I haven’t been to a doctor in 5 years but in that time have been absolutely fine and not ignoring anything since nothing was there to ignore. But a snowstorm looks like it may threaten a chance to see the new doctor so I thought about posting here in case that appointment is delayed a week or two.

    I am dictating this into my iPad and will also print out to take to my doctor or if the option is available to email him prior to the visit I will send it also. Excuse typos due to dictation software.

    About five weeks ago I had a small feeling in my left eye and then left corner of my mouth. At first I thought it was just the first signs of wrinkles and aging as a just turned 50. But I found myself touching the left corner of my eye because it felt like was something in the eyelash. The left corner of my mouth had a feeling that it might troop down it was a slight feeling not dramatic – never actually drooped. After close examination of my eye I realize there was nothing in my eye and it was fine it was a sensation. That subsided along with a very slight feeling of the left corner of my mouth wanting to droop it never did. then perhaps a week later woke up with a feeling of numbness or tingling in my face in area of cheeks, chin, sort the region you would shave. it’s very similar to the feeling of your arm falling asleep but not as severe and I do have sensation such as pain or feeling so it’s not a numbness I guess. Then a few days later spreading to my right arm and then one time when I was sitting at the computer for awhile it got my lower back. But mostly it is my face with my right arm sometimes a part of that. Then I went for my usual walk which is about a half-mile circle in my neighborhood and at one point I thought my hair in inner back thigh was catching against my clothes for maybe a bug had gotten in there and bit. It’s winter and cold maybe that. But then I realized upon getting home no evidence of anything on skin. now if I walk a certain distance at a certain pace it feels like pinching me in my mid thigh area left leg. Things seem to be shifting never one place. Recently the pinch pain is gone, the numbness is not so bad, but interestingly enough the left corner of eye feeling is back but not as much as original.

    Weeks ago I used to get sudden hunger and if I ate that would help and during all these recent weeks I’m not 100% but I can do anything that I could do prior and my coordination, motor skills, speech, and everything like that is fine. Outside of that numbness, or tingling I should say, and the pinch feeling in my leg, I have no pain no discomfort nor have I done or had something happen that really is causing me great concern. I have not dropped things, knock things over, stammered over words, droopy face, movement issues. Have no balance issues that are alarming though due to vertigo episode 11 months ago I can at times have a very slight feeling of that but never scary or like I need to watch what I’m doing. I can do simple balance test like one leg standing and very good. Not sure if it’s related to turning 50, or drinking more liquid in winter, but my urination sometimes can be quick again after urinating. Perhaps not unloading it all then shortly after another visit is needed. But I’ve had no bathroom emergency or anything like that and can hold if out and about and waiting to get home. I’m in a committed relationship with a woman and our romantic life is healthy and fine especially considering my age I have no issues with that stuff. Erection is full and healthy when that aspect of relationship happens. Even during these weeks of issues coming up, the desire and ability comes on natural at least twice week. Overall I fee decent but my energy/power is rarely 100% though never such a low level to cause alarm bells to go off. and stay active keeping a good weight but I do not work out and perhaps should start given my age. I sleep quite well although there are nights recently because of these things happening I will stay up a bit thinking about and perhaps cut short sleep. It’s mental worry as mind can run away thinking the absolute worst due to these recent sensations. Without this worry, I sleep like a rock. My diet is good not perfect but far from bad. I’m a very light drinker (had a 20 year period of not touching any alcohol with no interest) I’ve never smoked and I have no bad habits. I did have a stressful 7 years but last 8 months actual were good ones and positive…until this kicked in.

    Sorry for long post. Just wanted to share full details. Thank you.

    • Hi KaiHarate. Hopefully you have seen your doctor by now and had some direction as to what conditions need to be confirmed or excluded. You did include a lot of information and we will just focus on a few points. This is a free service and does not in any way constitute professional medical advice or a consultation. We are simply trying to assist readers in making sense of some of their ailments.

      We cannot say for sure if you have Lyme disease or not. You will need to undergo further tests. The one point that may be worth discussing is the incident you had 11 months ago. You say that you can bring on this vertigo by lying flat and tilting your head back and turning to one side. This is a worrying symptom because it may indicate that one of the arteries carrying blood to your brain may be a problem.

      You may also want to read up on the vertebral artery test or Wallenberg test. This may indicate that you could be at risk of a stroke. However, this is an online platform and we cannot say for sure. Your doctor would be in the best position to advise you further.

  • Allie

    In the past month my thumb has been periodically going numb. It happen more often when I am writing, exposing my hand to warm water, or trying to open bottles/containers. No obvious accident caused this, but I first noticed it when trying to get out of a car to quickly and gripping something. Prior to this, several years ago I was walking to work once and my ring finger on my left hand randomly went entirely numb, but that has not happened since. It is not unusual for my limbs to fall asleep if I sit the wrong way, but I am shocked about how easily my thumb is falling asleep. The nurse I visited suggested advil and ibuprofen for inflammation, but my real concern is the numbness. Should I see a specialist? Should I be worried about this condition worsening? Is there something else I can do? I’m generally a pretty healthy person, reasonable weight, workout 1-2 times a week, and I don’t eat much junk food. No smoking, and drinking only about once a week.

    • Hi Allie. Yes, you should see a specialist. It is possible that this is a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). If you do not get the proper treatment and stop repeating the exacerbating factor then the condition can get much worse. It is also possible that this is arising from some other nerve problem and could even be the early symptom of some chronic neurological disorder. There is no way of saying for sure but a specialist will assess it further and then reach a diagnosis.

  • Lauren

    I’m a 29 y/o female with parasthesia to my left posterior mid thoracic region (roughly a 10cm x 10cm square patch). I noticed it several years ago and my PCP told me not to be concerned. It never goes away completely but does seem to be exacerbated at times – possibly stress? During these times the area can be very pruritic, possibly worse at night. No visual skin changes. I have no history of back pain, injury, or scoliosis and I don’t take any medications on a daily basis. Just curious if you have heard of something similar. I don’t appear to have any additional symptoms associated with it. I have been thinking it is related to anxiety, but the fact that it never completely resolves seems inconsistent with anxiety. Interested in your thoughts. Thank you!

  • gerri

    Hi, I’ve been having a pins and needle feeling in both sides of my face and lower back. Usually lasts 3 or 4 days at a time in each location for the last month or so. Is it something I should be concerned with?

    • Hi Gerri. You don’t mention your age, medical history or other symptoms so we will have to give a broad answer. It is worth having this checked as this could be a prelude to a stroke especially if you are a middle aged adult or older. A complete stroke could lead to lasting symptoms and can even be deadly. So speak to a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Hi, Im an otherwise healthy 40-year old female, but several weeks now, I’ve been experiencing numbness in my armpits, and whenever I lay down, my leg muscles alternate between numbness and aching. It’s very frustrating, as it keeps waking me up throughout the night. I have a suspicion, but I’m no doctor. Help please? Thank you…

    • Hi Cori. The two concerns here are whether this is related to the nerves or the heart (and blood vessels). The fact that both your upper (armpits) and lower limbs are simultaneously affected and that it can alter with your change in position may be more likely an indication of the heart. However, if various levels of the vertebrae is affected you can very well get both upper and lower body symptoms. Difficult to say for sure but considering that you are approaching a high risk age it may be worthwhile to have a full cardiovascular checkup. First speak to your family doctor. Please note that we cannot diagnose on an online platform. As you say you have a suspicion and this is probably more accurate than what we could assess through your comment.

  • brandi

    I stopped 10Mg Lexapro cold turkey about 2 months ago abd about a month into stopping I started getting a calf cramp and a tingly hand hand and foot all on my left side. Us this related to Lexapro withdraw and will it go away.

    • Hi Brandi. It could be but there is no way of saying for sure. You should discuss this with your family doctor or the psychiatrist you were consulting with as he/she would be familiar with your case. It is possible that the cramps are totally unrelated to the medication you were using and may therefore be an entirely separate problem.

  • james

    hi i have been feeling numb in my head and neck a little in my mouth and in my arm on my left side

    • Hi James. There are many possible causes of numbness. A common cause is a pinched nerve which is also a possibility here. But the bigger concern at the moment is whether this may be related to some disruption to the blood flow to the brain. Such disruptions may culminate in a blockage and insufficient oxygen to the brain. Eventually it can lead to a condition such as a stroke. Please speak to your doctor as soon as possible. It may not be serious but rather be safe and sorry.

  • Steve

    Hi. I’m a 35 year old male and I’ve been having tingling/numbness on the right side of my head. I do have a history of having anxiety and as of late been feeling a bit more anxious. I do however have some neck pain as well although I doubt it’s the cause. Btw, it seems to occur when I smoke marijuana it as of late. I think it’s stress related but I’m not sure. Any ideas?

    • Hi Steve. A number of factors may be at play here. Paresthesias (the tingling and numbness) can be associated with both the anxiety and marijuana smoking. There are also other possible causes but given your history these factors need to first be confirmed or excluded as a possible cause. You should discuss it with your doctor. If necessary further investigations may be required.

  • Kellyfergison

    I have slight pins and needles on my arms, legs and face on and off (some days are ok), and they get stronger when I lay down at night. It’s been like this for almost 5 months. It might be a pinched nerve that has something to do with a heavy backpack that I was often carrying on my shoulder earlier this year. Some days I don’t have pins and needles, but when I drink coffee, the pins and needles come back all of a sudden. It also comes back when I carry something heavy (i.e. a grocery bag) in my hands. There’s no pain, just the pins and needles and a numb spot on my back. Not sure if to spend lots of $$ on MRIs and CT scans if it’s just a pinched nerve that can heal with proper exercises/posture and avoiding lifting anything heavy.

  • michelle

    My husbnd hve numbness and tingling on his back down to his leg on left part worried about him .what shall we do

  • Ajit de silva

    Hi dear doctor,
    Since recently & offently i feel a tingling on my right ear,cheek,neck & shoulder.
    Its only last for few seconds.could you please kindly advice a why is it. Thank you.

    • Hi Ajit. There are many possible causes and some are more likely in people with certain risk factors. This could be related to nerve compression (pinched nerve) or nerve irritation (neuritis). However, the more serious concern here is whether thsi could be a TIA (transient ischemic attack) which may precede a stroke. This can occur for weeks, months or even years before a stroke occurs. Another possibility is that this could be related to the heart. It is always advisable to exclude the more serious possibilities if your doctor deems it necessary although it could be due to something less serious, like muscle strain, clenching and so on. Speak to your doctor who can then examine you and advise you further.

  • Amanda Marie

    I have the cold feeling on my right side of back for weeks now an it tingles an feels light it’s tightening in a way an radiation feeling. Now I do know I have a disc pushing against my spinal cord, I have degenerating disc disease an I do know I have possible RA so hopefully it’s related to that. When you touch it it’s literally cold. The way these doctors are set up around here they will just tell me I’m losing my mind or paranoid. So I guess I might have to let this one slide

  • Lisa D Davis

    I have had a numbness to a constant sleep sensation in my left arm for 6 years, and here lately it is getting to wear it almost feels like arthritis in the very pit of my hand. I have Scoleosis, could that have anything to do with this?

    • Hi Lisa. Yes, scoliosis could be the cause if the nerve root to the arm is compressed. Arthritis is more likely to present with pain. Speak to the doctor who is overlooking your case about your arm symptoms. 6 years is a very long time and hopefully there is no permanent damage to the nerve. Rather get it checked up as soon as possible.

  • Melissa Marken

    I just had the whole left side of my body go numb. It started at my feet, traveled up to my arms and hand, then to my face. Only on the left side. My legs and arm were really weak followed by a headache. Before all this happened I had squiggly lines in my left eye. What just happened to me?

  • Maureen

    I am a 58 year old female, smoker and overweight. Recently I have been getting a tingling, almost electrifying sensation on my left side, left side of mouth, left arm and left leg, they last for about 30 – 45 seconds during this time my left arm becomes almost limp. Did some research online and starting taking vitamins and b12 supplement, seems better but still happening. Recently changed insurance and having a hard time getting in to see new doctor.

  • A.

    Hi, my dad is experiencing numbness in middle part of his back on the right side. From the picture above it’s like Th6 or Th7. He says it doesn’t hurt or anything it just feels numb. Is it something we should be worry about.

    • Hi A.
      Although it does not seem serious, it should definitely be assessed by a medical doctor. It is possible that this could be due to a problem with the nerve supplying this area. Difficult to say with any certainty but a doctor will assess it to determine if it is due to any serious problem. Sometimes numbness like this may not be a problem in itself but is only a symptoms of a serious condition.

  • Hi Dimple. It is highly advisable that you do follow up with the lumbar puncture or the underlying condition may never be diagnosed. You do not mention if this numbness arose after an injury, like a fall. You also do not mention if there is any muscle weakness on the affect side. While this could occur with certain neurological conditions, by now it would have progressed further for other symptoms to have developed. So it is quite perplexing from your reports and it is therefore advisable that you continue with the investigations that the doctor has recommended.

  • Gemma Elizabeth

    Hi I’m 47 I’ve had a tingling some times itchy feeling on my left shoulder for a few months now. I have carpal tunnel could this be linked ?