Pain, numbness in the arms, tingling in the fingertips- these sensations are not only annoying, but can also signify an underlying illness that requires immediate attention. Frequent causes of “pins and needles” or chronic paralysis of the extremities range from vitamin B12 deficiency to diabetic neuropathy. Here is a list of the most common reasons for pain and numbness in the arms.
Arm numbness can occur in one or both arms, and it can last for hours, or just a few seconds. Paralysis often causes painful prickling and tingling, in addition to partial or complete numbness in the left or right arm. Arm numbness and pain are usually temporary, and may result from lack of blood flow to the arms, traumatic injury, or peripheral nerve damage, such as occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency.
If you experience frequent numbness, pain, or tingling in the arms or legs, contact your doctor immediately, so that he can rule out any possible life-threatening conditions.
Here are some illnesses are conditions that are linked with pain and numbness in the arms:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency- Since vitamin B12 is essential for nerve health, a depletion of vitamin B12 likewise leads to peripheral neuropathy, damage to the nervous system. Without enough vitamin B12 to protect the nerve cells, your nerve cells begin to slow down, reduce in number, and fail to function properly, causing delayed reflexes, pain, weakness, and loss of sensation. Some common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include painful tingling and numbness in the arms and legs, muscular twitches, chronic pain, fatigue, and memory loss.
- Diabetic neuropathy- Similar to neuropathy experienced with vitamin B12 deficiency; diabetes can cause severe numbness in the arms and feet.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) - Multiple sclerosis is a chronic degenerative nervous system disorder that causes a breakdown in nerve cell functioning, resulting in pain and numbness in the arms and feet and eventual immobility.
- Autoimmune disorder- Several autoimmune conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or celiac disease may result in nerve impairment that causes numbness and pain.
- Migraines- In addition to debilitating headaches, nausea, and fatigue, many migraine sufferers also experience frequent numbness and tingling in the extremities.
- Stroke- Some of the many warning signs of stroke include temporary partial numbness in the arm, torso, or face, headache, loss of consciousness, confusion, and sudden speech impairment.
- Transient ischemic attacks- A “mini-stroke” can cause pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arms, legs, or face.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) - TOS can cause painful numbness in the arm, shoulder, or hand, and may result from an injury or poor posture.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome- Repetitive hand movements from typing or knitting are a frequent cause of pain, numbness and tingling in the fingers, hand, wrist, or arm.
- Spinal stenosis- Erosion of the spinal column that occurs with age may cause tingling, pain, and numbness, in many parts of the body, including the arms.
- Brachial plexus injuries- For pain and numbness in the left arm, your doctor may need to inspect for damage to the brachial plexus, also called Erb’s palsy.
- Crutch palsy- Also called radial nerve dysfunction, crutch palsy also causes numbness in the left arm.
- Cubital tunnel syndrome- Also called ulnar nerve entrapment, this is also a cause of pain and numbness in the left arm.
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