Numbness is, most simply, a loss of sensation or feeling in a part of your body. Numbness is usually caused by irritation or compression of a branch of nerves either where they exit the spine or in your extremities. Peripheral nerves are nerves that have exited your spine. Damage to your peripheral nerves is called peripheral neuropathy. Diseases affecting the peripheral nerves, such as diabetes, also can cause numbness. Typically, numbness is similar to having your leg fall asleep. It can be in one small spot or it can cover a large area depending on what nerves, and how many of them, are involved. An example of how numbness works is this: imagine you were carrying a heavy bag or purse and your arm falls asleep. What is actually happening is you are putting pressure on the nerves going to your hand. This pressure, in essence, chokes off the messages that are sent to the brain, causing a decrease in your body's awareness of your hand. Carpal tunnel is another example of this phenomenon. In carpal tunnel, the nerves going to your fingers and hand are compressed. The nerves can be compressed at different locations from your neck to your hand.
In order for us to determine if we can treat your numbness we must first diagnose the root cause of your numbness. We do this by taking a detailed history, taking x-rays, and by performing an extensive neurological exam. If we determine your numbness is caused by the nerves being entrapped we find where it is being entrapped and treat that area. If we determine your numbness is not caused by nerve entrapment we will refer you to the proper specialist.
Our chiropractic treatments for numbness focus on taking pressure off the nerve or nerves that are being entrapped. Many times, the cause of the numbness is caused by spinal misalignments. We remove these spinal misalignments by using the chiropractic adjustment. Some of the other tools we have to use are soft tissue therapies, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements.