What Are the Symptoms of Paresthesia?

A man with hand paresthesia.
Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Typical symptoms of paresthesia include numbness, burning, or itching on any area of the skin. These symptoms may increase during physical activity and may also involve muscle pain or weakness. Anxiety, frequent urination, or muscle spasms may affect some people with this condition. Potentially serious signs of paresthesia may include extreme weakness, difficulty breathing, or vision changes.

A pins and needles sensation affecting the feet, arms, or legs is among the most commonly reported symptoms of paresthesia, although this feeling can affect any area of the body. The patient may also feel like the skin is crawling or burning, with the discomfort ranging from mild to severe. Muscle spasms and difficulty performing normal tasks frequently occur as well. Many patients experience a worsening of symptoms when attempting any type of physical activity. In the most severe cases, mobility and personal care may be diminished due to these symptoms.

Additional symptoms of paresthesia may include anxiety, frequent urination, or the development of a skin rash. The rash may come and go and can cover a large area of the body or may be isolated to one particular region. The skin may become abnormally sensitive to touch, causing the patient to feel discomfort or pain even when the skin is touched lightly. Although these symptoms should be discussed with a doctor so proper medical treatment can begin, they do not usually pose any significant health risks.

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Some symptoms of paresthesia may indicate the presence of life-threatening complications and should be reported to a doctor immediately for further medical evaluation. Some of these symptoms may include vision changes, slurred speech, or loss of bowel or bladder control. Confusion, extreme weakness, or difficulty walking should be reported to a doctor as well. Any symptoms that occur after a traumatic injury should be medically evaluated.

Treatment for the various symptoms of paresthesia varies widely and depends on the direct cause as well as the overall health of the patient. Exercise, physical therapy, and massage are often helpful in managing the symptoms. Prescription medications may sometimes be used, especially if the pain associated with this condition becomes severe. Nutritional therapy, acupuncture, and lifestyle modification may also prove to be beneficial in many cases. A doctor can help the patient decide on the most appropriate treatment program based on individual needs.

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