Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Numbness and Tingling Overview

What is numbness and tingling?
A person with numbness and tingling has an abnormal feeling or loss of sensation on the surface of the skin. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes and alcoholism, may cause numbness and tingling. A variety of neurological diseases, such as stroke, spinal cord disease, herniated disk, and peripheral neuropathy may also cause numbness and tingling.

What are the symptoms of numbness and tingling?
Symptoms that may occur with numbness and tingling include skin rash, dry skin, cool or mottled skin, burning pain, increased sensitivity to touch, weakness, and fatigue.

How does the doctor treat numbness and tingling?
The treatment for numbness and tingling depends on the cause. Treatment for numbness and tingling may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, or vitamin supplements. A variety of medications are used to treat symptoms of numbness and tingling, including narcotic pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, tricyclic antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.

Continue to Numbness and Tingling Symptoms

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Numbness and Tingling References
  1. Goldstein LB, Simel DL. Is this patient having a stroke? JAMA. 2005 May 18;293(19):2391-402. [1590001]
  2. Overgaard E, Brandt LP, Ellemann K, Mikkelsen S, Andersen JH. Tingling/numbness in the hands of computer users: neurophysiological findings from the NUDATA study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2004 Oct;77(7):521-5. [15558303]
  3. Palmer KT, Griffin MJ, Syddall H, Pannett B, Cooper C, Coggon D. Risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome according to occupation and sources of exposure to hand-transmitted vibration: A national survey. Am J Ind Med. 2001 Apr;39(4):389-96. [11323788]
  4. Polydefkis M, Griffin JW, McArthur J. New insights into diabetic polyneuropathy. JAMA. 2003 Sep 10;290(10):1371-6. [12966130]
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