How Numbness Can Be A Dangerous Sign?

Numbness, also known as hypoesthesia is not a syndrome but it is defined as a symptom or side effect of other underlying medical conditions which manifests as a reduced sense of touch. Numbness is primarily caused due to damage to nerves or any blockages in the blood vessels. Pressure on the nerves causes numbness in different patterns that follow the area supplied by that nerve. It may also lead to the weakening and twitching of muscles that are controlled by the compressed nerve. Pressure on the nerve may result from injury, thickened muscles, enlarged blood vessels, bands of connective tissue, ulnar nerve compression, and various other medical conditions. Damage to the nerves can be caused by a variety of different illness and diseases.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the common disorder that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the wrist, hands, and primarily in the middle finger, index finger and thumb. It is a condition that occurs when the nerve, known as median nerve, which controls nerve that moves the thumb and carries information to the brain about sensations in the thumb and fingers. Anything that increases pressure on the median nerve can lead to the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome. In this syndrome, the median nerve is squeezed and when the nerve is pinched by pressure within the tunnel, causes symptoms. The exact cause of this syndrome is not known yet but numerous studies suggest that the symptoms can occur due to swelling of the linings of the tendons, joint dislocation, fractures, and arthritis. Women are more likely to develop this medical condition as compared to men. The symptoms tend to become worse at night and may disturb the sleep of an individual.

Also Read: Problems That Affect Hearing Power

Radiculopathy refers to the conditions that affect the nerves and causes a problem at or near the root of the nerve. As the nerve roots are compressed and becomes inflamed and primarily causes symptoms like numbness, tingling, and pain. Radiculopathy is basically of three types, cervical radiculopathy, lumbar radiculopathy and thoracic radiculopathy. Cervical radiculopathy causes neck and arm numbness and pain and it occurs due to pressure on one of the nerve roots in the neck. The radicular pain is usually accompanied by motor and sensory disturbances. It is a painful condition in which the nerve becomes pinched as it leaves the spinal cord. Lumbar radiculopathy is one of the most common disorder that is evaluated by the neurologists. It occurs when there is a pressure on any nerve root in the lower back. Radicular pain and numbness extend to the lower extremity such as the thigh, calf and sometimes the foot. Thoracic radiculopathy causes the symptoms when the nerve in the upper back portion of the spine compresses.  

Diabetic neuropathies are the chronic complication of diabetes and it includes the diseases of the peripheral nerves that affect both, the somatic and autonomic nervous system. It is a nerve damage that occurs in people who have diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder that develops due to the high blood glucose level in the body and this high blood sugar level injures the nerves of the entire body and primarily, it affects the nerves of legs and feet. There are many symptoms that occur in patients having diabetic neuropathy but numbness, tingling, and pain in feet, hands, toes, arms, fingers, and legs are the early warning signs of this disease. Some of the factors that can result in the development of diabetic neuropathies may include,

  • Metabolic factors such as abnormal blood fat levels and uncontrolled blood sugar level.  
  • Neurovascular factors that lead to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking.

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a serious medical condition that causes inflammation of the trigeminal nerve and leads to extreme pain and muscle spasm in the face. This nerve is present on each side of the face and it allows you to feel, touch and pressure on the face. The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not fully understood but in this condition, the blood vessel is often found compressing the nerve. An individual with trigeminal neuralgia is attacked by “pins and needles” sensation that converts into burning and pain or an electrical shock that lasts for a few seconds and minutes. Usually, the tingling and numbness occur in a person before the pain strikes and a pain is often accompanied by sensory loss.

Intracerebral hemorrhage is a life threatening condition which occurs due to bleeding in the brain tissues. It occurs close to the surface or in the deep areas of the brain. It is a condition that calls for an emergency and it includes symptoms such as sudden numbness of the face, loss of consciousness, confusion, headache, nausea, vomiting, and seizures. There are various conditions that can cause this disease such as a tumor, drug usage, hypertension, and aneurysm.

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.