Numbness Tingling symptom
Numbness Tingling (Sensory loss; Paresthesias; Numbness and Tingling; Loss of sensation):
You feel as though a part of your skin or body feels numb to the touch or tingles. It may also feel like it has been frozen with anesthesia. This numb patch may be small or encompass many parts of the body such as an arm, hand, finger, face, mouth, lips, tongue, leg, foot, or toe, or all of them.
While numbness and tingling can occur anywhere on the body, it’s most common on the hands, feet, arms, and legs.
Numbness and tingling can also be accompanied by pins and needles and burning skin sensations.
The affected area(s) may remain constant, or they may change and randomly appear anywhere and anytime. Repeated visual inspections show no skin abnormalities.
Numbness and tingling can be caused by a number of factors including:
- Remaining in the same position (seated or standing) for a long time
- Injury or pressure on a nerve (for example, a back injury can cause numbness in the legs or feet, and a neck injury can cause numbness in the arms and hands).
- Pressure on the spinal nerves (for example, due to a herniated disk)
- Lack of blood supply to an area (for example, restricted blood flow–we often refer to it as “falling asleep,” or for medical reason such as, plaque buildup from atherosclerosis–this can cause pain, numbness, and tingling)
- Side effects from certain medications
- A lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamins
- From radiation therapy
- Toxic action on the nerves, such as from alcohol, tobacco, or lead
- Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in the body
Numbness and tingling can also be caused by other medical conditions, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Underactive thyroid
Numbness and tingling are common symptoms of anxiety, panic, and stress
When this numbness tingling symptom is caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, this feeling should subside and you should return to your normal self. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
When this numbness tingling symptom is caused by persistent stress (stress-response hyperstimulation), it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where this symptom is eliminated.
Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered, this numbness tingling symptom will completely subside. Therefore, the numbness tingling symptoms needn’t be a cause for concern.
You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this feeling. Sure, the numbness tingling anxiety symptom can be unsettling and even bothersome. But again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, this symptom will completely disappear.
For a more indepth explanation, see our tingling, tingly, pins and needles anxiety symptom.
For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including this numbness tingling symptom, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
Return to our anxiety symptoms page.