Numbness is a sensation we all have experienced from time to time when a limb “falls asleep.” This type of numbness is caused when you place undo pressure for a prolonged period of time on a specific part of your body. This type of numbness should improve quickly when pressure to the area is removed; however, when this sensation occurs in parts of the body without any apparent cause, it could be coming from another source such as a pinched nerve.
A Pinched nerve is a very common cause of numbness and tingling. For instance, a neck injury can cause numbness in an arm while a lower back injury can cause numbness in a leg. A herniated disc, arthritis in a spinal joint, a vertebral misalignment (subluxation) or any other type of problem in spine could also be a potential cause of numbness.
Numbness can also originate away from the spine in areas where inflammation, commonly around joints, can cause nerve irritation. For instance, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause numbness or tingling in your wrist, fingers, hand, or forearm. Water retention such as from pregnancy, hormonal changes, or heart problems, can also result in numbness and tingling in the involved extremities. Other maladies, which can cause a numb sensation are: Migraine headaches, B-12 deficiency (a nutritional disorder) diabetes, underactive thyroid conditions, multiple sclerosis, transient ischemic attacks, or stroke. Certain medications and toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and lead can also cause numbness and tingling. Numbness and tingling can also be a result of radiation therapy (a type of cancer treatment.)
Through careful history and examination, your chiropractor can help determine if the numbness is coming from your spine or from another source. With successful chiropractic adjustments and the use of physical modalities such as heat, exercise, stretching, ultrasound, and massage, if needed, your problems of numbness related to the spine and nervous system could be satisfactorily reduced or eliminated.