In some situations, tingling is good. But in others, a little tingling can cause a whole lot of problems.
Numbness and pain in the nerves—primarily in the hands, face and feet—are called neuropathies. They’re usually associated with a tingling sensation that feels like you’ve hit your funny bone or your legs have fallen asleep.
This pins-and-needles feeling comes from a malfunction of your nerves, either peripheral nerves, like the ones in your feet and hands. Or it could be central ones, like your spinal cord.
Think of your nerves as electrical cables covered by protective sheaths. When something causes the sheath to constrict, it puts pressure on the inside wires and cables. This disruption of messaging (“conducting electricity”) causes the nerves to short-circuit, giving you tingles.
What causes the constriction? Many things, such as chemotherapy, diabetes or nutritional deficiency.
If you don’t break the cycle, you could experience a domino effect. The pain could worsen and eventually become debilitating. The numbness could also mean you’re more prone to infections. Think of it. If you cut your foot on a seashell and didn’t feel it, you might let the cut get dirty and infected.
Neuropathies could also lead to bladder and bowel pain, numbness and itching. Sounds dreadful. OK, enough with the downers. On the positive side, you can help improve the symptoms with exercise, avoiding secondhand smoke and following the general guidelines of healthy living. Here are some specific tactics:
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