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Old 12-31-2007, 04:43 PM   #1
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Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

Hello. I am 23, male and need help. I can't find answers on any board or from my doctors. While reading this, please note that I use the word "numb" but the sensation I feel is definitely not "numbness." It's more like pins/needles, like when your leg is asleep, or like being midly electrocuted. A better way to describe it would be to say that my nerves feel over-stimulated, instead of under-stimulated (numb). I use the word numb for simplicity's sake.

I have never had any nerve problems, injuries or diseases. A few years ago, I had a frenectomy (minor surgery). The numbness from the novacaine (anesthetic) lasted about two weeks. After that, I've never had any other "nerve" problems.

I went to the dentist last year. I did not want novacaine again, so he gave me nitrous oxide. It made my entire body numb for too long, the next day I went back to him. He didn't know what caused it, saying this is unheard of in healthy people, and told me to take vitamin B12. I don't know if the B12 helped or not, but I slowly came back to normal after about three weeks.

Everything was good for a few months. Then I woke up and my entire body was numb again (I had not consumed any drugs). Went to my doctor, blood work came back fine. That's all he could do for me. About a week later, the numbness faded away completely.

Then I started realizing that anytime I drink alcohol, I get numb again. The more I drink, the worse/longer lasting it gets. I know alcohol is a nerve toxin, but I've never been much of a drinker (only drank a few gallons in my entire life). Being sober for a year, then drinking a beer, will cause me to become numb for a few days. Alcohol had no such effect on me in the past. This was new. I also felt numb when I touched cold things.

I went to a neurologist, she looked at my blood work and my history and told me that it's just in my head, caused by excess anxiety.

This is where I stand now. The numbness isn't that severe unless I drink alcohol or touch something cold (taking something out of the fridge, etc). Slight "breezes" of cold air also cause the numbness/tingling, but not for long. For example, when I take off my pants, my legs feel numb but it quickly subsides.

Washing my hands with cold water also causes a pins and needles sensation, but it's not as bad, probably because of habituation because I do it often. Although the sensation is pronounced when I'm drying my hands on a towel. The texture of the towel makes my hand feel like it's asleep.

Around the time I began feeling numb, I was doing back exercises, back stretches, and standing up straight as much as I can to fix my posture. I'm generally fit, but work as a computer programmer, so I'm sitting leaning forward a lot. I stopped all the exercises when the numbness began. It doesn't seem to help.

Please help! Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

 
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

Hello, Joe...I was wondering if you have ever had any x-rays or an MRI done on your spine? Also, did they check you for Raynaud's Phenomenon? Thank you, in advance.

 
Old 12-31-2007, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

Wow guy. That's an interesting issue you have going on there and I doubt it's spine related. I have no idea at all how to be of any true assistance to you. I can only say they the doctor's you have seen to date are not doing enough to discover the source of your problem. I would think a neurological group is a great place and possibly someone that deals with the immune system on a grand scale.

You may have something that is new or very rare. You should also NOT drink ANY alcohol right now, no matter how tempting it may be. Since you don't know what the issue is, doing something that gives you that "numb" feeling could be making things even worse and last longer each time it occurs. So avoid things that make you feel this way as much as possible.

I dont see how this could be in your head. Now maybe it's something in your brain, but certainly not something mentally that you are causing. That just doesnt make sense. So get cracking on finding set of new doctors to help you further. Some doctors are quick to throw their hands in the air and blow you off if they don't know. So dismiss those and keep forging to find the right doctor that is willing to help you.

Please keep us posted.
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Last edited by Justoneofus; 12-31-2007 at 09:09 PM.

 
Old 01-01-2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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Re: Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

To me it sounds like some form of nueralgia. What tests were done by the neurologist? Did you get an EMG? From all of my recent research (I've been researching the nervous system lately) I would think that an EMG could possibly detect what's going on.

Also, did you get a full blood work-up? Thyroid, kidney function, deficiencies, etc.?

I wouldn't suspect Raynaud's unless you have color change in your skin- white to blue, and it usually only effects the smaller extremities like fingers, toes, nose, lips, etc.. I could be wrong though.
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Old 01-01-2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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Re: Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

Thanks for the replies. No EMG was done. The numbness comes on without alcohol. Actually, alcohol might not be directly causing me any sensation. It might just be a coincidence that I became numb around the time I drink.. because the numbness is on and off.

Right now my hands have this sensation.. and I don't recall the last time I drank, so it's definitely not related specifically to drugs.

Also, the sensation is not painful. It's more mild than a sleeping leg. It's just a strange sensation. It doesn't feel "right." Over-stimulated nerves is the best way I could describe it.

Another way to describe it is as if my nerves were "reset" and I am feeling things for the first time in my life. Everything feels "the same" but uncommon.

It is not in my head because it comes and goes randomally, regardless of mood and current life situation. Also, it happened to my sister. She became numb out of the blue one day, it lasted for a month. It never happened again, and no amount of alcohol makes her feel like that.

I know I'm not describing the sensation right because I didn't understand her when she had the same problem.

 
Old 01-01-2008, 05:05 PM   #6
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Re: Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

[QUOTE=joebloggs2;3370574]Thanks for the replies. No EMG was done. The numbness comes on without alcohol. Actually, alcohol might not be directly causing me any sensation. It might just be a coincidence that I became numb around the time I drink.. because the numbness is on and off.

Right now my hands have this sensation.. and I don't recall the last time I drank, so it's definitely not related specifically to drugs.

Also, the sensation is not painful. It's more mild than a sleeping leg. It's just a strange sensation. It doesn't feel "right." Over-stimulated nerves is the best way I could describe it.

Another way to describe it is as if my nerves were "reset" and I am feeling things for the first time in my life. Everything feels "the same" but uncommon.

It is not in my head because it comes and goes randomally, regardless of mood and current life situation. Also, it happened to my sister. She became numb out of the blue one day, it lasted for a month. It never happened again, and no amount of alcohol makes her feel like that.

I know I'm not describing the sensation right because I didn't understand her when she had the same problem.[/QUOTE]

I'm going to have to agree with Cherry, sounds like something uncommon and after writing that your sister experienced the same thing I'm inclined to believe that this may be hereditary and you should seek out a specialist in genetics. My Mother kept suffering from angina attacks and nothing would work to stop it so the doctor figured that he'd investigate and found that she had something called X Factor and that its extremely rare. I know what that tingling sensation is like because I was given too much Nitrous and it feels like your whole body is buzzing, Ugh, what an awful sensation! I hope you find someone who can help you with this and please keep us informed. My prayers are with you.

Redsmom

 
Old 01-01-2008, 06:07 PM   #7
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Re: Pins/needles sensation.. Can back problems cause nerve problems?

Hi,
I'm so sorry your going thru this. Don't stop going to Dr.'s until you get answers. I started in 1998 with slowing exelerating symptoms that eventually stopped me from working all together. I went thru so many dr.'s it wasn't funny. I had the symptoms of 10 different deseases, they slowly weeded them out until they were down to like 3 different ones. Well I went to Cleveland Clinics Mellen Center, internationally known for treatment of MS, they thought that was what I had. They coudln't treat the sypmtopms I had, I suffered for over 2 yrs until I finally had back pain, I went to my family dr. he did a regular old xray. He was so shocked at what he saw, he said it was the worst spine he had ever seen and doubted they could fix me, well after 4 fusion surgeries they couldn't. I'm now permanently disabled with perm nerve damage. The nerve damage could have been prevented if I would have gotten diagnosed sooner. It took from 1998 to 2003 before I got a proper diagnosis.

The point of telling my story is to let you see that your symptoms could be from something that most Dr.'s wouldnt' think it is from, until I had back pain no one, even me, ever thought it was my back.

Keep searching for answers, I was even told it was in my head too! Stay away from neurologists/psychiatrists they analyze your every word way more than they do your body, regular neuro's are best they look at your bodies symptoms.

I had a dr. tell me that some of us are more in tune with our bodies than others and we feel when things just aren't right way before a test can show it. Hang in there and keep demanding answers. It doesn't sound like very many tests were done, find a dr. that keeps doing tests until it shows whats wrong.

Most importantly, don't stop believing in yourself! You know somethings wrong don't let them talk you out of that feeling because they have a degree hanging on the wall. That dr. also told me that dr.'s really guess at whats wrong, they learn all the info then you come to them and give them your symptoms, they match the two together and whala they have a daignosis. Well if they can't match it right away most tend to give up trying, you have to find the dr. that doesn't give up trying. Turned out that that dr. told me what was wrong with me was with my spine but the ins company wouldn't allow the mri of my complete spine then so it took a few more yrs of me getting worse. That dr. was right yrs before it was obvious what was wrong.

I'll be praying for you, and don't give up on yourself!


Please keep us updated?

God Bless

Carol
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