Common Causes of Numbing Pain

Source: WebMD

Numbness might be a sign of various diseases and can also be an indication towards medical emergencies such as stroke. It is vital to figure out what is causing the numbness. Here are a few things that lead to feeling numbing pain:

Sitting for extended period

When you stand up after sitting for hours, then you find your foot “asleep.” This happens because of compression of the nerves in the ankle, foot, or leg. The pins and needles sensation you get is just the nerve function being established again. 

Changes in the spinal column

Degenerating or herniated discs present in the spine, as well as the narrowing down of the spinal column, might press on the spinal nerves. As a result, you feel abnormal sensations and numbness in the body parts that the spinal nerves serve, most commonly the legs.


Any enlarged vessel, mass, swelling, or scar tissue from an infection or an injury also results in the compression of nerves. For example, the carpal tunnel syndrome in which the nerve in the wrists is compressed by the tissue surrounding it thus leading to numbness and tingling. 

Nutrition and oxygen deficiency

If nerves do not get a proper supply of nutrients and oxygen, then the nerve signals are not transmitted correctly, and you feel numb. Buildup of cholesterol in the peripheral arteries also blocks the flow of blood to the nerves. In Raynaud’s syndrome and frostbite, the blood vessel is constricted. This leads to lack of oxygen and vital nutrients such as glucose in the tissue and nerves. 

An absent flow of oxygen to the brain such as in TIA – Transient Ischemic Attack also cause sudden sensations of numbness. Deficiency of vitamins, particularly thiamine and B12 causes numbness. Taking in heavy metals such as lead and imbalances in metals like sodium, potassium, or calcium also leads to numbness. 

Nerve damage

Inflamed as well as damaged nerves may result in numbness. Diabetes increases the risk of peripheral nerve damage which leads to a condition called peripheral neuropathy typically in the fingers, toes, and feet. A few skin problems also lead to numbness. Radiation therapy and burns can destroy the nerve fibers which paves the way to numbness. Similarly, infections like Lyme disease and shingles also causes numbness. 

Brain problems

Numbness can also be an indication of many brain conditions. It is a primary symptom of multiple sclerosis which can affect any body part. Hyperventilation and anxiety cause temporary numbness. Seizures, tumors, brain masses, and migraines can also be the cause of numbness since they can alter the way in which the brain transmits signals. 

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