Numbness/Tingling In Extremities

This occurs when there is some sort of impingement along the course of the nerve, either at the root as it exits the spine, or in the peripheral portion as it traverses the anatomy of the extremity.  For many nerves there are common areas that become impinged.  Therefore is important to be evaluated by a Chiropractic Neurologist so as to diagnose the appropriate source(s) of your numbness and tingling.  The nerves are circumvented by blood vessels, providing necessary oxygen and nutrients to them, just as any other structure in the body.  However, it is important to understand that they are on the outside of the nerve, and therefore are the first to become compressed.  This reduces oxygen to the nerve as the blood flow is limited, thus gives us the tingling or numbing sensation.  This is analogous to sitting for a length of time, or crossing your legs, eventually you will notice numbness or tingling in the buttocks or legs.  The “funny bone” is actually your ulnar nerve and when compressed quickly as in hitting your elbow, will give you a shooting tingling sensation down the arm.  Try this at home:  Wrap a rubber band around your finger for a moment and notice the color change as blood flow is diminished, this is analogous to nerve compression. 

Common Symptoms:

  • Tingling/Numbness or Pain down the arms or legs
  • Pain in the neck, chest, shoulder blade or rotator cuff when experiencing Numbness or Tingling down the arms
  • Pain in the lower back, buttock, hip or pelvis when experiencing Numbness or Tingling down the leg
  • More commonly seen in the pinky and ring finger of the upper extremity
  • Sciatic pain

Treatment consists of determining the cause(s) of the nerve compression and treating the structures involved.  Comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation of the muscles, nerves and joints is imperative, as it is often not just one system, but multiple sources of dysfunction.  Chiropractic Neurology is very successful in the treatment of these issues, often avoiding surgery or other invasive options.