"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison
Numbness and tingling are abnormal sensations that can occur anywhere in your body, but are often felt in your hands, feet, arms, or legs. Numbness and tingling problems, whether in the arm & hand or in the leg & foot, are frequently caused by nerve impingements in the spine. Nerves that go to the arm, hand, leg and foot, originate in the spinal column. If the bones of the spine are subluxated (misaligned), they create pressure on the nerves that supply those areas.
When the pressure is removed, the numbness and tingling usually subside. If the subluxation (misalignment) is not removed, the numbness and tingling may persist, and it may become worse. It is possible for symptoms to progress to muscle weakness and pain.
There are many possible causes for numbness:
- Remaining in the same seated or standing position for a long time
- Injuring a nerve supplying the body part where you feel the sensation. If you have a neck injury, for example, you may feel the sensation anywhere along your arm or hand. Similarly, a low back injury can cause sciatica -- a sensation of numbness or tingling down the back of your leg
- Lack of blood supply to the area. For example, plaque buildup from atherosclerosis in the legs can cause pain, numbness, and tingling while walking. (This is called claudication)
- Pressure on the spinal nerves, as from a herniated disk
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. This can cause numbness or tingling in your wrist, fingers, hand, or forearm
- Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, underactive thyroid, multiple sclerosis, seizures, or migraine headaches
- Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in your body
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke
- Certain medications
- Toxic action on nerves, such as that from lead, alcohol, or tobacco
- Radiation therapy