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Can Neuropathy Cause Numbness or Tingling Only?

Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is often associated with pain  — stabbing or burning sensations you can feel in your hands or feet. While pain is certainly one hallmark of peripheral neuropathy, it isn’t the only one.

Of the millions of people who have peripheral neuropathy — it affects up to 7% of the general population and nearly half of the diabetic population — many deal with non-painful neuropathy in which numbness and tingling take center stage.

While it may seem less important if you’re only dealing with numbness and tingling, these symptoms can be plenty uncomfortable and can lead to serious problems.

As you can see by our name, the team here at Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas features leading experts on peripheral neuropathy. In this role, we want to take a closer look at numbness and tingling and why we consider these symptoms to be equally as significant as pain.

We’re dealing with sensory nerves

With peripheral neuropathy, you’re dealing with damage to sensory nerves much of the time, which means there are different sensations than pain. It’s like having a faulty wire that cuts in and out or leads to garbled messaging, which is what's happening in your nerves.

When there’s nerve damage, not only is the signaling between your nerves and your brain confused, but the nerve also can misfire and become overactive.

There’s no simple explanation for why some people develop painful neuropathy while others experience only numbness and tingling. It has to do with many factors, such as the extent of the nerve damage, the cause of the neuropathy, and whether the nerves are trying to grow back.

Why numbness and tingling can be problematic

If you're reading this, you’re probably trying to manage some of your own numbness and tingling, so we don’t have to tell you that the abnormal sensations can be uncomfortable.

While the discomfort can be an issue, we’re concerned when it comes to the numbness side of the equation. If you lose feeling in your feet, for example, you’re far more prone to develop foot ulcers because you can’t feel what’s going on in your lower extremities. So, even a small cut can burgeon quickly and turn into a limb-threatening infection.

We’re also concerned because numbness and tingling in your feet can affect your gait and balance, leaving you more vulnerable to tripping and falling.

If the numbness and tingling is in your hands, it can have no small impact on your ability to function on a daily basis — even eating can become tricky.

What we’re getting at is that even though you may not be in pain, numbness and tingling are two symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore. As we mentioned, we’re experts in neuropathy, and we have treatment, management, and preventive solutions that can help with your nerve issues.

So, if you’re dealing with numbness and tingling anywhere in your body, we want you to come see us so that we can identify the issue and get you on the road to better nerve health. 

To schedule an evaluation of your neuropathy, please call or message one of our locations in Waco, Arlington, Wichita Falls, and Fort Worth, Texas.

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