SymptomChecker

There are 32 possible causes of numbness of limbs

Viewing 1 - 20 of 32 results

Definition

Numbness of the limbs is an abnormal sensation caused by an alteration in sensory nerve function, which may be temporary.

Alternative Names

Extremity numbness, numb extremities, numb limbs, numbness of arms and/or legs, tingling legs/feet or arms, pins and needles.

Synopsis

Sensations are carried from the extremities of the body to the brain via neurons in the spinal cord. If the blood supply to the nerves is decreased temporarily, it can produce the feeling that "my leg fell asleep". If the blood loss is permanent or severe, it is called ischemia and can result in permanent nerve damage. Nerves in the extremities can be compressed temporarily – as when carrying a heavy object and the arms feel numb. If the compression is chronic, the result can be an entrapment syndrome.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Entrapment syndromes
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Trauma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Frostbite
  • Beriberi
  • Diabetic nerve damage
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Snake bites
  • Neuralgias
  • Rabies
  • Radiculopathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Toxin exposure or poisoning
  • Stroke
  • Lyme disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Malnutrition

Diagnosis and Treatments

If numbness in the limbs is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness and pain, it requires thorough evaluation by a physician. A complete history and physical, including family history, work history, laboratory tests may be indicated. Nerve conduction velocity tests, electromyography, imaging studies and nerve biopsy may be required. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and what is determined to relieve symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications or other medications may be prescribed. Physical and occupational therapy as well as stretching exercises may also help alleviate symptoms once the underlying cause is found and treated.

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Possible Causes - Listed in order from the most common to the least.

1

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder caused by plaque build-up in peripheral arteries. It typically affects the arteries that supply blood to the arms, legs, and organs located below the stomach.

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2

Slipped (Herniated) Disk

The vertebrae in your spine are cushioned by disks composed of a hard outer ring with a gelatinous material inside. Injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disk to break through the outer portion.

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3

Brain Aneurysm

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An aneurysm in the brain is a weak area in an artery in the brain that bulges out and fills with blood. It can be unpredictable and life-threatening, and can cause extremely serious conditions.

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4

Stroke Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A stroke (a

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5

Mini Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack)

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

During a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini stroke) blood stops flowing to the brain for a short period of time. TIA doesn

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6

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal column narrows, gradually compressing the spinal cord. If the narrowing is minimal, symptoms won't occur. Too much narrowing can compress the nerves and cause problems.

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7

Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in the spine. It occurs when surrounding bones, cartilage, muscle, or tendons deteriorate or are injured. This results in numbness, weakness, and pain.

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8

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a person

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9

Migraine with Aura

Migraine is a disorder characterized by repeated attacks of severe headache. Symptoms include throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on only one side of the head, and can last between four hours and three days.

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10

Necrotizing Vasculitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Necrotizing vasculitis is the inflammation of blood vessel walls. It can interrupt blood flow, causing skin, muscle, and blood vessel damage, and death of tissues and organs. Its symptoms can affect the entire body.

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11

Neuralgia

Neuralgia is a stabbing, burning, and often quite severe pain that occurs along a damaged nerve. The damaged nerve may be anywhere in the body, but is most common in the face and neck. The cause of a damaged nerve ma...

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12

Osteomalacia

Osteomalacia is a weakening of the bones due to problems with bone formation or the bone building process. It is not the same as osteoporosis, which is a weakening of living bone that has already been formed and i...

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13

Beriberi

Beriberi is a disease brought on by a Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) deficiency. There are two types of the disease: wet beriberi and dry beriberi . Wet beriberi can effect heart function and, in the most extreme cases, hear...

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14

Intracerebral Hemorrhage

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) occurs when blood suddenly bursts into brain tissue, causing damage to the brain, which may present symptoms similar to that of a stroke. Lobar intracerebral hemorrhages occur in th...

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15

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of types 1 and 2 diabetes due to uncontrolled high blood sugar levels that result in damage to the nerves. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), between 6...

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16

Peripheral Neuropathy

Your peripheral nervous system connects the nerves from the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of the body, including the arms, hands, feet, legs, internal organs, mouth and face. The job o...

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17

Mononeuropathy

Neuropathy is a group of conditions that affect the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (the peripheral nerves). Mononeuropathy describes a condition in which only a single nerve or nerve group is damaged. Thi...

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18

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is usually an age-related condition that affects the joints in your neck. It develops as a result of the wear and tear of the cartilage and bones are of the cervical spine. While it is largely du...

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19

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 individuals in the United States and over two million worldwide. Although it is considered a relatively rare disease, MS is of particular interest recentl...

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20

Megaloblastic Anemia

Megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder marked by the appearance of very large red blood cells. Anemia is a blood disorder that results in the loss of red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen through the body...

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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