Have you ever hit your “funny bone” at the elbow with a sudden and very unpleasant tingling? Or woken up and found that an arm or hand has “gone to sleep”? When the cause is obvious and the recovery is quick that is a normal event.
A sudden change in sensation along with difficulty moving a body part or speaking is a medical emergency and must be evaluated in an ER.
Between these extremes, numbness and tingling may be a symptom of peripheral neuropathy. This can be caused by medical illnesses such as diabetes, lupus or thyroid disease. Certain medications, nutritional deficiencies or toxic substances can cause these symptoms. Nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, seizure disorder or spinal cord compression also are a consideration.
Dr. Kavanagh will take your history and perform an examination with special attention to the areas of the body where sensation is altered. Laboratory tests are always done and if you have had any bloodwork in the past six months we ask that you bring results to the visit and give them to the receptionist at check in. The originals will be returned to you. Depending on the findings on the exam, some additional tests may include MRI of the brain or spinal cord, EEG (electroencephalogram), or EMG/NCS (electromyogram/nerve conduction study).
When a medical illness or vitamin deficiency is the cause, the progression can usually be halted by treating the underlying problem. For many people, the symptoms may persist and treatment is aimed at reducing the unpleasant sensations. There are several medications which have been shown to be effective and the doctor will work with you to achieve the best possible control.
We accept most major medical insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office and ask for Jody if you do not see your insurance provider listed.