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Old 11-08-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

I have degenerative disk problems in my cervical vertebrae but recent MRI, CT scan and visits to neurologists state that the problem does not match the symptoms. Symptoms are frequent "pins & needles" as well as tingling sensations all over the body. I have tried many vitamin supplements, chiropractors as well as naturopathic doctors. The frequency is increasing to the point where I am having difficulty sleeping.
Any suggestions or solutions?? Thanks

 
Old 11-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

I don't want to state the obvious, but sometimes neurologists ignore the obvious. Unless you are pretending to have these symptoms in order to get attention from doctors, your problem isn't showing up in their testing. Neurologists know that MRIs and CTs have limited ability to detect many small anomalies and instances of trauma that can cause debilitating symptoms.

What you are describing is some form of neuropathy, and the absence of a diagnosis should not be the rationale for not administering therapies designed to ease your suffering. You may need to see a pain doctor in a pain clinic setting, particularly if you can find one affiliated with a major teaching hospital. You also need to have diseases like MS, ALS, and other auto-immune syndromes ruled out. Lyme disease is also a possibility, and that would probably require a spinal tap.

Give up on the neurologists and get yourself seen by a pain specialist in a pain clinic. You are likely to get the best results that way.

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Originally Posted by slick50 View Post
I have degenerative disk problems in my cervical vertebrae but recent MRI, CT scan and visits to neurologists state that the problem does not match the symptoms. Symptoms are frequent "pins & needles" as well as tingling sensations all over the body. I have tried many vitamin supplements, chiropractors as well as naturopathic doctors. The frequency is increasing to the point where I am having difficulty sleeping.
Any suggestions or solutions?? Thanks

 
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

Hi Slick50 - If your pins & needles, etc. are affecting your whole body, one possibility is that you have small fiber neuropathy (SFN). This is a type of neuropathy that doesn't show up on nerve conduction and EMG tests and many neurologists are not familiary with it. It could be a from a cause unrelated to your disc problems. Good luck to you. - Ruby

 
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

Thanks for the information. I'm wondering how this might be diagnosed and possibly treated.

 
Old 11-09-2010, 06:59 PM   #5
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

Quote:
Originally Posted by slick50 View Post
Thanks for the information. I'm wondering how this might be diagnosed and possibly treated.
The symptoms you describe are typical for various forms of neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy - all terms that mean something in your nervous system is causing the symptoms. The nervous system is broken up into two sections - the central nervous system (brain, cranial nerves, and spinal column) and the peripheral nervous system (all nerve branches that bring nerve impulses between the spinal cord and the rest of the body.) Most nerve problems are diagnosed primarily by a thorough neurological exam, and this is particularly true for peripheral neuropathies. Each nerve bundle that exits the spine serves a particular region of the body (called a dermatome.) By careful sensory testing, the neurologist is usually able to determine which dermatomes are affected, and this helps narrow down the nerves likely to be responsible for your discomfort.

When neurological symptoms are present in multiple areas of the body (involving multiple dermatomes,) the neurologist has to consider the possibility that the symptoms are caused by problems in the central nervous system or by systemic diseases (MS, Lyme Disease, ALS, lupus, etc.) that may attack nerves or otherwise affect nerve function. Certain Vitamin deficiencies can also cause widespread nerve discomfort, so numerous tests are often necessary to diagnose the exact (or most likely) cause of your symptoms. Blood tests, immunoassays, and imaging studies (CTs and MRIs being the most common) are standard diagnostic tools for neuropathic problems. Unfortunately, the results are often inconclusive, so in many cases, your diagnosis will be made on the basis of excluding other less likely diagnoses. This is an imprecise method, but is all too often the best that doctors can offer.

Neurological diagnostic tools have improved drastically in the past decade or two, but medical science is still in it's infancy regarding neurological diseases and syndromes. Be prepared to endure a lot of testing, and don't be surprised if you have to repeat the same tests over and over for many of the doctors you meet, and you may have to see several doctors before you find one who is able to diagnose and/or treat you effectively. Try not to give up hope, and be as concise as possible when describing your symptoms. Be prepared to advocate for your own care, as there are still too many doctors all too ready to lump you into a diagnosis based on only some of your symptoms (the ones they understand or believe.) Be prepared to hear doctors contradict one another, saying things like "It can't be {diagnosis X} because your symptoms don't fit." If a diagnosis is elusive, you still deserve symptomatic relief.

Treatment options for neurological problems have increased in the past decade, mirroring the advances in diagnostic tools. Without knowing the cause of your symptoms, it's really difficult to guess what the appropriate therapies might include. Nerve compression may be the culprit, in which case surgical decompression MAY be possible. Other physical problems, like Chiari malformations or bulging discs, may also respond to surgery, but only a neurosurgeon is qualified to give you likely outcomes. Many drug therapies are also available and likely to help, but you may have to try several before finding one that works without excessive side effects.

If you get nowhere with your neurologist, seek a second or third opinion, and consider seeing a pain doctor in an integrative, multidisciplinary pain clinic. Through personal experience and in conversations with many other neuralgia sufferers, it seems that pain specialists in such clinics provide optimum care for the whole patient. I wish you the best.

 
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

I REALLy appreciate your time and thoughtful response. You have given me excellent information to consider. Thank you!

 
Old 11-11-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

Hi Slick50 - As to how SFN might be diagnosed and treated, the information you will find on the web is rather skimpy. The best information I found when I first started having symptoms was that posted on this board. You can search the board for older threads dealing specifically with SFN. These posts gave me the confidence I needed to pursue the possibility of SFN with my neurologist. Like many others, my neurologist at first discounted my symptoms and thought I was some type of crazy lady. This is because small fiber neuropathy is very uncommon (I am my neurologist's only patient with pure SFN). Further, SFN does not show up on the standard tests for neuropathy, i.e., nerve conduction studies and EMG (electromyogram) tests. These stardard tests only show damage to long fiber nerves.

Some neurologists do nerve biopsies, skin biopsies, or quantitative sensory testing to diagnose SFN. Others, like mine, make the diagnosis based on the symptoms and by ruling out all other possible causes and diseases.

Treatment of SFN involves helping with the pain, for which the same meds and techniques are used as with other neuropathies.

Hope this helps. - Ruby

 
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

Hi Slick50 just woundering if you still have the same feelings? I have been having the same tingling sensations all over the body for about 3 weeks with no numbness. For the last week the feelings have been off and on but now have had a headache. Hope your better.

Last edited by crate; 11-29-2010 at 12:29 PM.

 
Old 11-30-2010, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: pins & needles as well as tingling in many parts of the body

Hello Crate,
I've been having these symptoms for some time now. There are days when I don't seem to notice them as much. The more active I am, the less I notice them. The worst times are at night when I'm lying still trying to get to sleep.
My fear is that my symptoms start to get worse. For now I can handle it. I try not to think about the symptoms and believe it or not, it seems to help.
Good luck to you.

 
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