Paresthesia Treatment in Tuscaloosa, AL
What Is Paresthesia?
Paresthesia is a prickling, burning, or numbing sensation that usually occurs in your extremities, such as your hands or feet, but can occur in other areas of the body like the mouth or chest. The condition is frequently described as the feeling of "pins and needles," although descriptions of "skin crawling" or an extremity "falling asleep" are also common ways to explain the sensation.
There are two types of paresthesia; acute and chronic. Acute paresthesia is the most common of the two conditions, and most people will experience this harmless form of paresthesia at some point in their life. However, chronic paresthesia could be a sign of a more serious, underlying neurological condition and requires the guidance of a medical professional.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Tuscaloosa who specializes in paresthesia treatment, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
There are many different paresthesia causes. The most common cause of acute paresthesia is when the nerves become pinched. This can happen when you cross your legs or sleep on your arms; when you move your body, you alleviate the pressure on the affected nerve, and the paresthesia disappears.
Chronic paresthesia is often a sign of an underlying neurological disease or nerve damage. There are a number of medical conditions that can cause chronic paresthesia, including:
- Ischemia (inadequate blood flow to an organ)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Lyme disease
- Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Brain or spinal cord tumors
- Autoimmune disorders
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Malnutrition or lack of B vitamins
There are many other conditions that can lead to the development of chronic paresthesia. These can include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Accidents that cause nerve damage
- Overusing certain nerves, causing a repetitive movement injury
- Side effects of certain drugs for chemotherapy and HIV, or antibiotics
- Anesthesia that causes temporary or permanent effects on the nervous system
Symptoms of paresthesia can affect any part of the body; however, they most commonly occur in the hands, feet, arms, or legs. These symptoms typically occur without warning and can be isolated to the affected area or radiate outwards.
The severity and duration of paresthesia depend on if the condition is acute or chronic, and if there are any underlying conditions at play. Those with paresthesia often experience:
- Burning or cold sensations
Chronic paresthesia symptoms will include a stabbing pain and impaired movement, leading to clumsiness or stumbling.
Paresthesia Diagnosis & Treatment
In many cases, acute paresthesia will disappear on its own within minutes of appearing. In the case of chronic paresthesia, where the pins and needles will not go away on their own, it is best to see a medical professional.
Your healthcare provider will first perform a physical examination to review your symptoms. Blood work and a spinal tap may be ordered in a paresthesia diagnosis to rule out any potential underlying conditions. To identify nerve damage, your healthcare provider may order an X-ray, nerve conduction study, electromyography (EMG), or magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI).
If it is determined that you have chronic paresthesia, your healthcare provider can recommend treatment based on your health needs. These treatments may include restrictive movements, bracing, physical therapy, or treatments to address the medical condition causing the paresthesia. Alternative treatment for paresthesia can include dietary supplements, acupuncture, or massage.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent acute or chronic paresthesia, there are various ways that you can reduce the occurrence or its severity:
- Maintain good posture
- Do not sit for long periods of time
- Use body splints if you suffer from paresthesia at night
- Avoid continuous repetitive movement, if possible
- Monitor underlying conditions which are known to cause paresthesia
Chronic paresthesia can greatly impact your quality of life. To schedule an appointment with a paresthesia specialist in Tuscaloosa, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
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