Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Tingling or Pain or Numbness

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was speaking with my neurologist yesterday and he asked me which fingers or parts of my hand I feel tingling in. I stopped and thought and answered that I honestly didn't know. He said it's important that I keep track of this. So tonight I'm sitting here and my fingers start feeling funny and I'm wondering....what am I really feeling??

I equate tingling to what we used to call pins and needles. THat funny feeling you got when your foot fell asleep and then the blood rushed back. But then what is numbness? If I'm numb how do I know it? Is that when my keys drop out of my hand for no reason? Pain I think I understand but then the tingling is painful also.

It is taking so much time and so many doctors to get an answer to my problem. I am beginning to doubt myself. Some days I feel like I am making this all up and to get over it. Then I am late taking a dose of meds and I remember how I felt with nothing.

So tonight I am sitting here wondering if every little sensation in my body means something. I'm wondering if anyone else has gone through this and how they decided if it is a tingle, numbness or pain.

PS There will be a test at the doctors office next week...I think I will probably fail :(


  • When you have to fill out those pain charts where you rate the quality of the pain, the intensity, etc. it is always a bit frustrating. Tingling is as you describe it -- or like when you bang your "funny bone" and you almost get a shiver through your body, or it can be pins and needles. Being numb is a lack of sensation. There can be degrees of numbness, from feeling nothing (a long pin can be jammed into you and you don't feel it), to a less severe form where there is a loss of sensation. I have one sensation that feels like warm water trickling down my leg. The first time it happened, I honestly thought I had wet my pants. I even wiped my leg with my hand to see if it was wet. (It wasn't.) Then there is a feeling that feels to me like what it would feel to stick your finger in an electrical socket -- it is a sudden feeling of electricity coursing through the limb, or whatever.

    You would not necessarily drop your keys if your hand is numb. You can still have some sensation or some control and have numbness. I have numbness in my toes and both feet, up to above my ankles. It gets less intense as it goes up my legs...but I can still walk, stand on tip-toes, etc. But sometimes I won't notice that I have one sock on and one off. I can't really feel the difference. But I know when the doc touches me and asks "can you feel this?"

    There are many different sensations that come with nerve damage or compression. I'm sure others would give you other descriptions for the same condition.

    I would suggest you keep a pain journal for a month or two. You don't have to be fanatical about it -- just jot down when you have a change in sensation, how strong it is, where it is located, etc.

    I think "pain" is sort of an umbrella word that includes all these different sensations that occur through the sensory nerves. Sometimes you can feel numb without having pain, but often there is pain associated with the loss of sensation.

    Hope this helps a little bit.

  • I like to call nerve pain ignorant pain. It has no rhyme or reason to it. Doesn't always feel the same and often sets off other nerves. As Gwennie said keeping a pain journal is a good idea. A good pain journal was just given to me from a doctor. It was laid out in spread sheet form. The titles where as follows:

    1. Where is the Pain? Rate the pain 1-10 scale, 10 being you need emergency care.

    2. What where you doing when the pain started or increased?

    3. Did you take medication? If you did, what did you take and how much?

    4. Other than medications what did you try for relief?

    5. After a hour of the onset of pain how did you feel?

    6. Describe the pain or feelings you were getting at the time of the event?

    when I describe pain to a doctor I try to use things they would understand or could have had happen to them. For example one of them I like to use is if they have ever hit a ball with a bat wrong and the sensation you get from doing that? So I am trying to find things that will help them understand what I feel like. It is often hard to describe the feelings but it is important to the doctor so they can get a better idea of what is happening. Also keep in mind different digits are coming from different levels of the spine. Also where those pain patterns are on the arms will help them understand what levels it could becoming from. Another thing you may want to track is sensations of your arms or hands getting to cold or to hot even to the physical touch. Hope this helps some, it is just so hard to explain.
  • Numbness definitely doesn't mean you can't feel anything. A lot of times it's just partially numb. If something feels wrong it probably is. Don't doubt yourself, because your really all you have.
Sign In or Register to comment.