I have a question I can't seem to critically think about. When a pt verbalizes numbness/tingling, what is the significance and treatment for it?

I was told that in stroke/CVA pt, this might mean that they are regaining some of their sensation/feeling back. Of course, in diabetes, this means neuropathy. Or a potential side effect of medications that are new.

But what about in the general population? Or what if numbness/tingling is a new complaint in a patient who have not had any new changes such as medical condition, status, or new meds (numbness/tingling suddenly occurs)?

I was wondering if you recommend any websites for new nurses to follow to simply build upon more knowledge?


Lauraingalls, BSN, RN

Specializes in OB. Has 6 years experience. 169 Posts

Well it can be some sort of nerve issue. I for one have carpal tunnel and experience numbness and tingling every day.

Think of other degenerative nerve issues and you will find numbness and tingling as a symptom

NurseCard, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience. 2 Articles; 2,845 Posts

Many times, yes it's likely a nerve issue. A patient who is suddenly

complaining of numbness/tingling in the right hand, right leg, without

any other symptoms, probably needs an MRI, if it doesn't go


I believe that numbness/tingling in the left arm is possibly

cardiac related. Or is that just PAIN in that arm? Seems

like I've heard that there can also be numbness?



4 Posts

Hey there, numbness and or tingling should make you think of nervous tissue. What kinds of things cause neevous tissue damage or insult? CVA- usually facial or one sided sensory loss or tingling. Diabetes- lower extremity nerve damage due to decreased small vessel blood supply to the nerves. Ortho/musculoskeletal- nerve impingement, myofascial swelling, compartment syndrome or direct nerve trauma.

These are some things to think of, but always take numbness and swelling as a sign of a nerve issue.

I use UpToDate for most of my info nowdays. From patho and treatments to prescribing and referrals. Be careful, you can waste a great deal of time on there.