If you are experiencing chronic numbness in your hands or feet, you could have nerve entrapment. This condition can be painful and debilitating in some people. In some cases, neurosurgery can correct the problem. However, that depends on the cause and severity. If you wonder if you have a nerve entrapment, continue reading to learn more about its symptoms and treatment.
What are the signs of nerve entrapment?
Nerve entrapment symptoms depend on the cause and location of the nerve compression. Some of the most commons signs of nerve entrapment include:
- Tingling in the hands or feet
- Redness and swelling in the affected area
- Problems with movement
- Weakness in the extremities
- Burning sensations
What causes nerve entrapment?
Nerve entrapment involves the narrowing of tissue around the nerve. It has many causes. Listed below are some of the most common reasons for the condition.
Injuries can cause tissue to rub against or swell up around the nerve. The added friction can cause the nerve to become irritated.
Uncontrolled diabetes can damage nerves and cause unusual sensations.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common types of nerve entrapment. Overuse injuries contribute to swelling around the nerve shaft.
Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis can have a detrimental effect on all tissues. Some disorders may cause inflammation around the nerves.
How does a doctor diagnose nerve entrapment?
When you visit your regular doctor, they will take a health history and perform some simple tests. They may test your sensations and muscle strength. If they suspect nerve entrapment, the doctor may palpate the affected area. The doctor may do more thorough tests, like electrodiagnostic testing to pinpoint the exact location of the trapped nerve.
How can a surgeon help with nerve entrapment?
Most doctors and neurologists will exhaust all non-surgical treatments before deciding on surgery. You may need to try medications, bracing, and physical therapy first. You may also need to make lifestyle and workstation modifications if those are contributing factors. If those fail, then surgery to reduce the material entrapping the nerve may help. To learn more about surgical options, contact a neurosurgeon in your area.
While many people experience hand and foot numbness now and then, its effects should be temporary. However, if it is chronic and ongoing, then don't delay in seeing your doctor. The longer you wait, the more likely you will have long-term problems. While surgery is not always recommended, treating the condition is important. Talk to your general practitioner or neurologist to see what solutions are open to you.