As patients walk into our clinic, some of them are experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers and toes. Some also have numbness and tingling going down their arms and legs. There are many reasons as to why one may experience numbness and/or tingling. The most common reason is nerve-related such as nerves that have been trapped or are currently being compressed or pinched. This could be due to nerve entrapment syndromes such as a nerve palsy or carpal tunnel. Nerves could also be pinched or compressed due to injuries, disc herniations, trauma or muscles spasms.
Other causes of numbness and tingling could be systemic diseases (i.e. kidney, liver, hormonal balance, tumors) or inherited and auto-immune disorders. Sometimes numbness and tingling can be due to an excess of alcohol or toxins such as lead or mercury. Included in the toxins would be chemotherapy or some medications. A deficiency in certain B vitamins can also be a cause or oppositely, an overdose of B6. Sometimes infections may cause numbness or tingling as well. However, these are less likely to be found in a chiropractic clinic.
Chiropractic adjustments can help when the nerves are trapped or pinched due to muscles, spinal subluxations, disc herniations, muscles spasms. This is because chiropractic care can help with relieving the pain symptoms and relieving the nerve irritation by realignment of the spine and releasing of the muscles surrounding it.
If you have had a prolonged experience of numbness and tingling and they do not go away with chiropractic treatments, there are a few things you should do:
- Visit a specialist and do some specialised blood tests
- Perform an electromyogram
- Perform a nerve conduction velocity
- Other tests could include CT or MRI scans.
Successful treatment of numbness and tingling is dependent on getting an accurate diagnosis and understating why this symptom is present. As long as there is no permanent damage in the nerve endings, they can heal and be relieved. Besides chiropractic care or other spinal care, a good diet is important to balance out any extra or insufficient nutrients causing an imbalance. Patients with diabetic neuropathy can benefit from having a healthy diet.
If patients are pain free and have reduced symptoms, exercise is always beneficial to get the joints moving and increase blood flow as well as reduce pinching of the nerve due to immobility.