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Do You Suffer From Paresthesia? Here Are The Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

By Nupur

What Is Paresthesia?

Have you ever experienced a numbing, pricking, tingling or burning sensation in your limbs and there was no known cause behind it? Then it's likely to be a condition called paresthesia, there can be numerous causes leading to this condition which could be of two types: Temporary and permanent.

Symptoms Of Paresthesia:

  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Cold
  • Weakness

Types Of Paresthesia & Causes:

1. Temporary Paresthesia

Almost all of us have experienced the numbing and pricking sensation in our hands, legs, arms and feet which we refer to have "fallen asleep". This sensation takes place after we unknowingly put pressure on our nerve, this sensation normalizes after we remove the pressure from the nerve by changing our body's position and hence doesn't require any treatment.

2. Permanent Paresthesia

If you suffer from permanent paresthesia, you will experience a piercing pain along with difficulty in moving your limbs. If you feel that the symptoms of this condition are prevailing for a longer duration you should consult your doctor immediately as it could be pointing towards nerve damage that might need immediate treatment.

Types Of Nerve Damage:

There are two types of nerve damage: radiculopathy and neuropathy.

1. Radiculopathy: It is caused because of a pinched nerve in the spine which can lead to various symptoms like pain, numbness as well as weakness. This symptom can occur when one or more nerves don't function properly after getting affected.

In this kind of nerve damage, the damage takes place at or near the root of the nerve which exits from the spinal cord. The pain often passes on to the organ related to the body parts linked to that nerve.

Each region of the spine has a specific name as well as a function:

- Cervical spine, which is the neck

- Thoracic spine, which is the mid-back

- Lumbar spine, or the lower back spine

- Sacrum which connects the spine to the hips

- Coccyx or the tailbone

Causes Of Radiculopathy:

Here are the primary causes for radiculopathy:

  • Herniated disc: This occurs when a disc extends beyond a surface and tears the harder outer layer.

Spinal stenosis: It refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal which runs through the vertebrae and encloses the spinal cord.

  • Foraminal stenosis: When the openings of nerves passing through narrows, its known as foraminal stenosis.
  • Degenerative disc disease: When normal changes taking place in your spine's discs result in pain, it is referred to as degenerative disc disease.
  • Bone spurs: Bone spurs refer to the bony projections which develop along the bone edges. Joint damage linked to osteoarthritis is the main cause of the bone spurs damage.
  • Treatment Of Radiculopathy:

    This kind of nerve damage can usually be treated without any surgery and with the help of medicines like:

    • Injectable steroids or oral corticosteroids
    • Non-steroidal drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.
    • Ice and heat application
    • Physical therapy
    • Soft cervical collar
    • narcotic pain medications

    Radiculopathy Prevention:

    • Regular physical activity
    • Maintaining good posture
    • Lifting properly
    • Stretching often

    2. Neuropathy: This is caused due to the motor and sensory nerve damage which is chronic. Permanent nerve damage can cause permanent numbness High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is the main cause of this type of nerve damage.

    Here Are Some Other Causes Of Neuropathy:

    • Trauma
    • Liver diseases
    • Kidney diseases
    • Stroke
    • Excess of Vitamin D consumption
    • Lack of niacin in the body
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Tumour
    • HIV, Lyme disease and other infections
    • Various medications

    Neuropathy Treatment:

    • Mediation can help in keeping this condition under control, there is no cure for this condition.
    • Neuromodulation or surgery: Neuromodulation refers to the use of a stimulation device to generate nerve impulse where there is less nerve activity. This device is usually implanted surgically in the patient.
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are prescribed.

    Neuropathy Prevention:

    • Following a good lifestyle
    • Keeping vitamin deficiency at bay
    • Avoiding alcohol
    • Losing weight
    • Following a healthy diet
    • Avoiding toxins
    • Working out regularly

    Yoga and relaxation techniques can also help in improving the physical as well as emotional symptoms of nerve damage.

    Read more about: symptoms causes treatment
    Story first published: Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 18:30 [IST]
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