Treating Numbness in Novi & Howell, MI
Radiculopathy, or radiculitis, is an inflammation of the nerve from the spine which can have a number of causes. The most common is when a disc herniates and chemicals which cause inflammation or irritation of nerves are released. This usually results in pain which can vary from mild to extremely severe. Radiculopathy must be distinguished from a host of other problems in bone, muscle and nerve by a careful history and physical examination supplemented by testing such as EMG or MRI.
Numbness in your extremities or body can come on suddenly or develop
slowly over time. Your rehabilitation doctor is an expert at
determining the cause of your numbness and developing a treatment
plan to help you regain full sensation and nerve function.
Causes of Numbness
Numbness is the result of compression, pinching, or damage to a nerve or nerves. The compression, pinching, or damage can be caused by:
- Car accidents or sports injuries
- Repetitive motion at work
- Poor posture and body mechanics
- Individual structural characteristics
- Maintaining the same position for a long period
Medical Conditions Which Can Cause Numbness
There are also several medical conditions which can cause temporary or permanent numbness. These include:
- Injury or damage to a nerve
- A herniated disk
- Tumors or growths
- Shingles or herpes
- Inadequate blood supply
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
When To See Your Rehabilitation Doctor About Numbness
You should see your rehabilitation doctor if you:
- Have numbness without an apparent cause
- Have pain in your fingers, forearm, or neck
- Have leg numbness which interferes with walking
- Have a rash associated with the numbness
- Experience dizziness or muscle spasms
Treatment for Numbness
The professional treatment your doctor may recommend depends on the underlying cause of the numbness. For nerve entrapment conditions like carpal tunnel, surgery is often recommended to release the trapped nerve.
If numbness is caused by an underlying condition, the underlying condition, such as diabetes, must be kept under control with proper medication and dietary modifications.
Medication may be recommended to help with nerve pain associated with the numbness. Gabapentin and other medications may be prescribed.
When Numbness May Become an Emergency
Numbness is one of the symptoms of a stroke, a potentially life-threatening condition. You should seek out emergency services if you have:
- Numbness that makes you unable to move
- Numbness after a back, neck, or head injury
- Loss of movement of extremities
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Confusion or loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech, vision problems, or weakness