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Definition of numbness

Shell74Shell74 Posts: 300
This may sound silly but can someone give me the official definition of numbness. The doctor always asks and I am wondering if I am telling him the right thing.

My legs are freezing today, I am wrapped in a down comforter with a heating pad on my legs and I feel like I am walking in the snow. They are burning and tingling and are hyper sensitive when bumped.

Thanks a bunch!


  • I tell my doctor that I can feel but it the feeling is not right it feels weird not quite numb but weird and he says he understands maybe that will help you .
  • i wonder if numbness is on a continuum, like from 0 - 10?? I'm never completley numb, but i have sensations like tingling, and the tingling feels as if it want to move towards either completely numb or to freezing, and its in a state of limbo... :/
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • Most of the pains that we have go down one leg from a central point or the other leg or both, exacerbated when coughing and sneezing or alternate leg raises. Most of my physicals were of sensation itself and one area may feel less aware of touch than another, or that the arch of my foot when scratched would feel less responsive than the other. Most of these tests are standard when assessing patients. As you say they can provide many other symptoms all equally important to every person and with some unique elements and similarities, when it is missing you will know.

    Take care John
  • You might want to try this test. It's supposed to determine if there is any nerve damage which numbness could be.
  • What you are describing are symptoms of nerve pain...the change in temperature, tingling, pins and needles, electrical feelings, etc. Numbness is a loss of feeling, which can be partial or complete, or a loss of sensation.

    The nerve sensations can feel like numbness but may not necessarily result in permanent loss of nerve function.

    I think the only way to judge what is going on is to have a nerve conduction study and an EMG.
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