Dr. Tim Steflik here, with Coastal Integrative Healthcare and today I’m going to talk about what causes numbness.
Numbness typically happens because there’s a problem with a nerve. You can have numbness in your hands, numbness in your feet, just about anywhere in your body where the nerves go.
In our clinic the most common numbness we see travels from the neck down to the arm, or maybe it’s in the low back and goes down to the feet. Sometimes it’s just in the hands or feet. Numbness can be caused by a lot of different things so it’s important to have a proper diagnosis to make sure we know what’s causing it. Some of the most common causes are a pinched nerve coming from the neck. That nerve can be pinched in the shoulder area, it can be pinched in the elbow or even in the hand. It’s called carpal tunnel if it gets pinched in the wrist area (shown below in the video).
We want to find out where that nerve is being pinched. That’s where the signal is being blocked, which results in the numbness. That’s all the nerves do – they send signals to the brain and then back down to the body.
It’s the same thing in the low back. You can have numbness that travels down the leg, but you can also have numbness in your feet. If you have numbness in just the feet, that could be peripheral neuropathy – weakness, numbness, or pain, usually in the hands and feet. That has a different cause than a pinched nerve. It’s still a damaged nerve, but there are a number of things that can cause it.
If you have numbness, no matter the cause, there’s likely something we can do to help you feel better.
We have a lot of different treatments.
Which ones we use depends on the diagnosis.
It’s similar to taking your car to a mechanic because it’s making a funny noise. They’re not going to be able to tell you right away how to fix it or how much it will cost until they check it out and give a diagnosis.
If someone comes in to our clinic with numbness, we do a proper evaluation and testing and can then tell them what’s causing the numbness and what we can do to fix it.
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