Your health care provider should find and treat the cause of your numbness or tingling. Treating the condition may make the symptoms go away or stop them from getting worse. For example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or low back pain, your doctor may recommend certain exercises.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will discuss ways to control your blood sugar levels.
Low levels of vitamins will be treated with vitamin supplements.
Medicines that cause numbness or tingling may need to be switched or changed. DO NOT change or stop taking any of your medicines or take large doses of any vitamins or supplements until you have talked with your provider.
Because numbness can cause a decrease in feeling, you may be more likely to accidentally injure a numb hand or foot. Take care to protect the area from cuts, bumps, bruises, burns, or other injuries.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Go to a hospital or call your local emergency number (such as 911) if:
You have weakness or are unable to move, along with numbness or tingling
Numbness or tingling occur just after a head, neck, or back injury
You cannot control the movement of an arm or a leg, or you have lost bladder or bowel control
You are confused or have lost consciousness, even briefly
You have slurred speech, a change in vision, difficulty walking, or weakness
Call your provider if:
Numbness or tingling has no obvious cause (like a hand or foot "falling asleep")
You have pain in your neck, forearm, or fingers
You are urinating more often
Numbness or tingling is in your legs and gets worse when you walk
You have a rash
You have dizziness, muscle spasm, or other unusual symptoms
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination, carefully checking your nervous system.
Medical history questions may include:
What part or parts of your body have numbness or tingling? Your trunk? Your legs or feet? Your arms, hands, or fingers?
Which side of your body is involved?
Which area of that body part? For example, is your inner thigh, calf, or foot affected? Your palm, fingers, thumb, wrist, or forearm?
Does the numbness or tingling affect your face? Around your eyes? Your cheeks? Around your mouth? Is one or both sides of your face involved?
Does the part of your body with numbness or tingling change colors? Does it feel cold or warm?
Do you have other abnormal sensations?
Are you unaware of your body on the affected side?
How long have you had the numbness or tingling?
When did it start?
Does anything make it worse, such as exercise or standing for long periods of time?
Do you have any other symptoms?
Your provider may also ask you questions to determine your risk for stroke, thyroid disease, or diabetes, as well as questions about your work habits and medicines.
Daniel Kantor, MD, Kantor Neurology, Coconut Creek, FL and Immediate Past President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.