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Tingling - GENERAL


Tingling is an indication of damage or irritation to the nerves in that area. Unlike numbness, tingling suggests the nerve is not completely dead or severed, just injured or experiencing pressure.

Common causes:

  • local injury to the nerves under the skin
  • lack of blood supply to the area
  • pressure on the nerves, caused by a herniated disk, tumors, abscesses or arthritic bones
  • toxic action on nerves (lead, alcohol, tobacco)
  • diabetes and other chemical abnormalities
  • vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • hypothyroidism
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • drugs such as chemotherapeutic agents, chloroquine, D-penicillamine, isoniazid, nitrofurantoin, parenteral gold therapy and phenytoin
  • long-term radiation
  • transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • stroke
  • multiple sclerosis (a less common cause of numbness)

There may be other causes of numbness. This list is not all inclusive.

Call your health care provider if:

  • tingling or numbness is not explained by an obvious cause (such as position-related "falling asleep" of a hand or foot).
  • numbness and tingling is accompanied by other symptoms.
  • numbness and tingling lasts longer than a few minutes.

Please explain to your physician:


  • Quality of the pain.
  • Radiation of the pain.
  • Site of the pain.
  • Time of the Pain.

Diagnostic Tests:

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:

  • blood tests (such as CBC or blood differential)
  • CT scan of the head or affected area
  • electromyography
  • myelography
  • X-ray of the head or affected area