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Paresthesia: 8 Possible Reasons for Experiencing Chronic Numbness

Paresthesia is the medical term for the pins and needles numbing that many experience on occasion. People will often refer to this as their arm or leg having ‘fallen asleep.’

While this sensation most often occurs because of pressure put on a nerve, it is typically temporary and does not require any medical treatment. If the numbness persists, however, it may be an indication of an underlying medical condition. Below are eight common reasons for experiencing chronic paresthesia.

1. Radiculopathy

Chronic paresthesia is often a sign of nerve damage. One type of nerve damage is radiculopathy, which, according to Healthline.com, is “a condition in which nerve roots become compressed, irritated, or inflamed.”

One of the most common causes of radiculopathy is a herniated disk, which applies pressure to a nerve, causing the numbing sensation. Other possible causes include a narrowing of the canal that send signals from the spinal cord to other areas of the body, as well as a tumor or other mass in the spinal cord.

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