If you've ever had a strange tingling or numb feeling in your hands or arms, that felt a little like pins and needles, you could have experienced an episode of paresthesia.
There are many different causes of paresthesia, ranging from a simple lack of movement through to carpel tunnel syndrome or even pinched nerves.
There are many different causes for paresthesia, ranging from a simple lack of movement through to carpel tunnel syndrome or even pinched nerves.
This page has lots of information about paresthesia, but if you're worried about any strange feelings in your upper limbs, please call your GP or seek urgent medical advice.
Lack of movement
Lack of movement is one of the more common causes of paresthesia. Simply holding your arm or hand in the same position – or alternatively, sleeping or lying for prolonged periods with your hand or arm underneath you – can cause a tingling or numb sensation that worsens when the limb is moved. The best solution for paresthesia from lack of movement is simply to keep moving your arm or hand to encourage the blood to flow correctly to your nerves again.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that often affects people who type a lot, or undertake repetitive hand or wrist movements. Known as CTS, it is similar to the other equally unpleasant office condition, repetitive strain injury (RSI). Both conditions cause pain across the forearm, wrists and hands.
Compression Neuropathy is the medical description for local pressure on a nerve. There are several major nerves in the hand and arm (the ulnar nerve, the medial nerve and the radial nerve), and when these nerves are compressed, there can be a feeling of numbness or tingling. The muscles that are controlled by those nerves can also feel “weak” or like they have wasted away. They could also appear to twitch or “jump” without warning. Depending on where in the hand the numbness is, your therapist can tell which nerve is causing the problem, which is obviously very useful when treating the cause. The nerves may be compressed locally due to a variety of issues including injuries, ganglion cysts or even arthritic spurs.
As well as local pressure, there is also the possibility that the nerves can be compressed from the neck, where the nerves have their root. This is called Cervical Radiculopathy. This compression will normally be between the C6 and T1 vertebrae, and can be caused by a variety of issues such as arthritis, narrowing of the spinal canal or herniated discs pressing on the nerves as well as issues such as infections or issues with the spinal cord itself. The location of the tingling and numbness in the hand can help a skilled therapist or medical professional work out where the compression is occurring. It's sometimes caused a pinched nerve because the nerve is being pinched in the neck.
Vitamin B deficiency
A lack of vitamin B12 can sometimes lead to nerve damage causing tingling or numbness in the upper and lower limbs. This is often treated at the start with vitamin supplements or injections with further damage being mitigated by ensuring that there is enough B12 in the diet.
There are plenty of other causes for continued tingling and numbness in the hands and arms, including conditions such as multiple sclerosis, liver disease or alcoholism, where the symptoms are caused by nerve damage rather than pinched or trapped nerves.
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Getting treatment at State 11 Soft Tissue Therapy, Spalding
At State 11 in Spalding, we use a variety of advanced techniques to help people in pain or discomfort.
We are injury and pain specialists, and do not offer relaxation or "spa" style massages.
The techniques we use for reducing your pain include RAPID NeuroFascial Reset - an advanced Canadian technique devised by two Canadian therapists frustrated at not being able to make rapid, lasting change for their clients. This is a clothed technique that does not require removal of clothing, or the use of any waxes or oils. We are the only clinic offering RAPID in Lincolnshire.
We may also use sports massage techniques, kinesiology taping, fascial cupping or Instrument Assisted Massage.
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