For local numbing and pain control, doctors typically use local anesthetics approved by the U. Food and Drug Administration. Many of these are also available in over-the-counter strength for home use:.
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Temporary numbness and tingling can occur after spending too much time sitting cross-legged, or with a head resting on a crooked arm. But long term, severe, or disabling numbness and tingling is usually a of neurological conditions or nerve damage. This article focuses on common causes and treatments for numbness and tingling, including multiple sclerosis MS. Numbness lost, reduced, or altered sensation and tingling an odd prickling sensation are types of temporary paresthesia.
These sensations commonly occur after sitting or standing in a particular position or even wearing tight clothing for too long.
This puts pressure on nerves and blood vessels, reducing sensation. MS often causes mild to severe numbness and tingling on the skin or certain parts of the body, including the:. The numbness and tingling symptoms of MS are rarely disabling or permanent. But severe numbness can make it difficult for a person to use the numb body part, which may interfere with everyday activities.
For example, numb hands can make holding things, typing, or self-care hard or impossible. If someone has numb feet or legs, walking and driving can be dangerous. People with numbness and tingling in their face may also mistakenly bite their tongue or inner mouth. Severe numbness can make it hard to tell when things are very hot or cold, increasing the risk of burns and frostbite. Other conditions affecting the central nervous system that can cause numbness and tingling include:. Some other conditions that target specific parts of the body can cause numbness and tingling.
Body parts include:. People with diabetes may experience diabetic neuropathya type of nerve damage. It can occur over time as the metabolic effects of diabetes in the bloodstream damage nerves. One-third to one-half of people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathya form that typically causes numbness and pain in the feet and legs, or less commonly, in the hands and arm.
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Vitamin B12 deficiencyor pernicious anemiacan cause nerve damage due to low red blood cell levels and reduced oxygen circulation. This can cause peripheral neuropathy. A range of medications can also cause peripheral neuropathy, such as:. Calcium is vital to proper nerve function and blood flow. Hypocalcemiaor calcium deficiency, can cause numbness and tingling in the fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and fingers. It occurs when the median nerve, a major nerve in the arm, becomes compressed in the space where it travels through the wrist.
Panic attacksor sudden overwhelming periods of fear and anxiety without real danger, can cause a range of symptoms, including numbness or tingling in the hands.
Nerve pain and numbness
Toothaches and infections can compress facial nerves, causing numbness in the face and mouth. They may then order laboratory tests, such as blood tests, to confirm or rule out potential causes. In some cases, a doctor may request further testing, such as MRIs or other imaging tests.
Electromyography and nerve conduction studies can help assess the extent and type of nerve damage, especially when neuropathy causes the tingling. Niacina B complex vitaminmay help reduce inflammation and related numbness. In cases of severe or painful numbness, treatment may involve a short round of corticosteroids, which also quickens recovery by reducing inflammation.
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Several medications deed to treat different conditions may also help reduce numbness and tingling associated with MS, such as:. Several different treatment plans may help reduce or manage numbness and tingling not related to MS, such as:. However, several lifestyle habits may help prevent or reduce numbness and tingling associated with MS, such as:.
See a doctor if numbness or tingling is persistent or occurs without an obvious cause, or if they accompany any of the following symptoms :. People who experience certain symptoms with numbness and tingling may need emergency medical attention.
These symptoms include:. Although some causes have no cure, many have symptoms that are temporary, painless, or respond to at home care.
People with unexplained numbness and tingling should talk to a doctor as early as possible. The outlook for most conditions associated with numbness and tingling improves with early treatment. For example, treating MS early can help reduce the risk of severe complications, especially disability.
Causes of numbness and tingling in the lips range from chapping, to allergies, to a stroke and nerve damage. Treatment will depend on the cause. The many nerve endings in the penis make it sensitive, but several factors can cause the penis or testicles to become numb, including cycling, injury…. Numbness in the fingers and hand can have a variety of different causes, including a pinched nerve, medications, and myofascial pain syndrome.
There are many reasons why a person may feel numbness or tingling in their legs or feet. The most common is sitting in the same position for too long…. What causes numbness and tingling? Medically reviewed by Heidi Moawad, M. Causes Diagnosis Treatment Prevention When to see a doctor Summary Temporary numbness and tingling can occur after spending too much time sitting cross-legged, or with a head resting on a crooked arm.
Causes in different parts of the body. Share on Pinterest Numbness and tingling may occur after resting the head on a crooked arm. Share on Pinterest A of medications may cause peripheral neuropathy.
What causes numbness and tingling?
When to see a doctor. Share on Pinterest If a person experiences persistent numbness or tingling, they should speak to their doctor.
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Medically reviewed by Nancy Hammond, MD. Why are my legs and feet numb? Medically reviewed by Seunggu Han, MD.