Paresthesia refers to abnormal sensations like tingling, prickling, burning, numbness, sensation of pricking by pins or needles that occur mostly in hands, fingers, arms, legs, feet and toes. Everyone might have experienced it once in a while, like one may have felt it from sitting cross-legged for too long or from sleeping with the arm under the head. It happens because of the pressure on nerves. It is temporary and vanishes by removing the pressure on the affected nerve. However, in some cases, paresthesia is persistent and may be due to some medical health condition that requires treatment.
Homeopathy can help in effectively managing complaints of paresthesia. Homeopathic medicines can manage well the symptoms like numbness, tingling, pin needle sensation, burning and weakness in limbs in such cases. With use of these medicines, gradual relief occurs . Homeopathic medicines are recommended in these cases when the symptoms are mild to moderate and no serious cause is linked with it. In case the symptoms are intense, or these symptoms are attended with other symptoms like difficulty in walking, loss of bladder/bowel control, slurred speech, difficulty in breathing, confusion, dizziness, loss of consciousness, paralysis or in case some serious cause like stroke, immediate help from conventional mode of treatment should be taken. It is recommended to take any homeopathic medicine for paresthesia under supervision of a homeopathic physician who can guide the best suitable medicine after complete case evaluation, or in case he finds some serious ailment where homeopathy cannot help, he can refer conventional treatment. In no case should self-medication be done.
Homeopathic Medicines For Treating Paresthesia
1. Kali Phos – To Manage Numbness
It is a top-grade medicine to manage numbness in the hands and feet. The numbness may be marked in the finger tips, may also be present in arms and legs. This medicine is also beneficial to manage prickling sensation in hands and feet. Lastly, it offers help for cases having burning sensation in soles of feet and toes.
2. Zincum Met – For Numbness And Tingling
It is a helpful medicine for cases having numbness and tingling sensation. The tingling is present in one of the limbs in cases needing it. It is useful when numbness occurs in lower limbs. Excessive weakness can accompany it.
3. Hypericum – For Numbness, Tingling And Burning Sensation
It is prepared from a plant Hypericum Perforatum with the common name ‘St. John’s Wort’. This medicine is very effective in managing numbness, tingling, burning sensation in limbs. It is one of the best medicine for managing cases of nerve damage from trauma/injury. Along with above symptoms, a person needing it may also have sharp, excruciating pain. Besides, it is a well-indicated medicine for managing cases of carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS).
4. Arsenic Album – For Managing Burning Pains And Weakness
This medicine is firstly very helpful in managing burning type of pain in the limbs. Secondly, it is useful for cases having weakness in limbs. Other than above, tingling in fingers is also indicative of using this medicine.
5. Agaricus – For Prickling In Toes
This medicine works well in cases of prickling in the toes. A crawling sensation may also occur. Shooting pain in toes can sometimes attend it.
6. Causticum – To Manage Weakness In Limbs
This medicine is prominently indicated for managing weakness in limbs along with heaviness in the limbs. Other than this, it is helpful in managing numbness in hands. Lastly, it is a suitable medicine for managing carpal tunnel syndrome.
7. Gnaphalium – To Manage Sciatica And Numbness
It is prepared from plant Gnaphalium polycephalum commonly known as ‘old balsam’, a sweet-scented everlasting flower. Use of this medicine is recommended to manage numbness attending sciatica pain. Persons who need it have cutting or darting pain along sciatic nerve. They have worsening of pain by walking and relief by sitting.
8. Picric Acid – For Pin Needle Sensation In Limbs
It is an important medicine for managing pin needle sensation in the limbs. Persons who require it may also have numbness in limbs. Limbs may feel weak and the feet become cold.
9. Paris Quadrifolia – To Manage Numbness In Fingers And Neck Pain
This medicine is prepared from the plant Paris Quadrifolia having common name ‘One berry’ and ‘Herb Paris’. This medicine suits cases in which there is numbness (asleep sensation) in fingers and neck pain. In cases requiring it, pain in the neck may extend down till the fingers. Heaviness in nape of neck can attend it. The pain gets better by taking rest.
10. Kalmia – For Numbness, Prickling In Limbs
It is another medicine in homeopathy which helps cases having numbness and prickling in limbs. It is prepared from fresh leaves of plant Kalmia Latifolia, commonly known as ‘mountain laurel’. Sometimes weakness in limbs may be a common complaint where this medicine is required. Additionally, coldness in limbs may be there. In some cases, there is pain in the neck that radiates down the arms.
11. Carboneum Sulph – For Tingling Sensation As From Electric Current
This medicine is effective for cases of tingling sensation in the limbs as from an electric current. Other than this, it also offers help to manage numbness of the fingers with inability to hold small objects.
12. Phosphorus – For Numbness In Hands And Feet
Use of this medicine can be done in case of numbness in hands and feet. The numbness can also be present in fingers and toes. Lastly, it is indicated to manage weakness in arms.
13. Oxalic Acid – For Numbness And Tingling
This medicine is also indicated to manage numbness and tingling in limbs. It is very useful when there is numbness starting from shoulders and ending in fingertips. Sharp pain in limbs may attend sometimes.
Causes Behind Paresthesia
First cause behind it is compression, irritation or inflammation of the nerve roots (this is referred as radiculopathy). This can happen from herniated spinal disc (a condition in which the soft jelly like center of inter-vertebral disc pushes out through a tear in its tough exterior). Next, this can result if the spinal canal gets narrow also called spinal stenosis (it refers to narrowing of the spinal canal that results in pressure on spinal cord and nerve roots). It can also arise if there is some mass that causes compression of the nerve. When radiculopathy happens in cervical spine, means the portion of spine in neck, then it is known as cervical radiculopathy (its symptoms includes paresthesia of the upper limbs, neck pain and weakness in arms and hands). When it occurs in lumbar region, means portion of spine in lower back, then it is known as lumbar radiculopathy (its symptoms includes sciatica that occur from pressure over the sciatic nerve that causes pain in the lower back radiating down the hip, back of thigh, legs, feet and paresthesia in leg or foot). Carpal tunnel syndrome is also one of the causes behind paresthesia in hands and fingers that arises from pinched medial nerve in the wrist.
Second major cause for paresthesia is nerve damage. The main cause for nerve damage is diabetes. Next reason is injury/trauma to nerve. It may also occur due to deficiency of Vitamin B12, B1 and B6. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is yet another reason for paresthesia. Injury from repetitive movement putting stress on nerves may also lead to it. It may also occur if a person is suffering from a kidney or liver disease.
Other than these, it may occur in case of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes joint inflammation resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness in joints. It mostly starts from small joints and involves larger joints afterward. Multiple sclerosis is an an autoimmune disorder in which there occurs damage to the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Brain tumour or tumour that develop near a nerve can be another cause for paresthesia. Certain infections like shingles ( a viral infection caused by varicella – zoster virus), Lyme disease (a tick-borne, infectious disease which is caused by a bacteria of the type borrelia known as Borrelia burgdoferi) may also cause it. Paresthesia can be caused by exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, use of some medications like chemotherapy drugs, some antibiotics, high blood pressure, high levels of vitamin D, and alcoholism. Lastly, paresthesia can occur in case of a stroke which means an interruption in blood supply to part of the brain resulting in deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to brain tissue and causing death of brain cells. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical help.
What Are Its Symptoms?
It mostly affects hands, feet, arms and legs though any body part can be affected. Its symptoms are numbness, tingling, prickling, pin needle sensation, burning, sensation of affected part falling numb temporarily, weakness, and coldness. These symptoms may be attended with pain. It may result in disruption in daily activities. The complications that can arise include disability, permanent loss of sensation and paralysis.