Is It Common?
Why Does It Happen?
How Can You Resolve It?
Numbness and tingling in the upper and lower extremities is a very common problem. There are many different reasons why a person may be suffering from this aggravating condition.
Why You Might Be Suffering From Numbness & Tingling In Your Legs and Feet.
This is a common symptom for many people and as a chiropractic office, we see it daily. There are many reasons why these symptoms begin to surface. In our office, we see quite a few people with peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Numbness and tingling in the legs and feet is one of the first symptoms people notice when suffering from peripheral neuropathy.
Low back conditions may also create this feeling of numbness and tingling. In this situation, they are having some impingement on the nerve root.
Another common problem associated with these symptoms is knee or hip problems. When we go a little deeper and start to look at the body's kinetic chain (how a body moves and is supported), we begin to notice more of the root cause of the pain. Your feet are the foundation of your body's kinetic chain. Similar to the foundation of a house, if that foundation settles, the doors and windows start becoming difficult to open and close. Over time, you can't open or close them anymore. You can have the doors and windows replaced but that's not the root cause of the problem. The root cause of the problem is the foundation is settled in your house. The same goes for your body. Your feet are the foundation for your body but the symptoms may show up as numbness and tingling in your lower extremities....or knee and hip pain. This is why it is so important to check for proper foot alignment.
How is Numbness and Tingling in the Legs and Feet Treated in our Office?
Biomechanical Foot Scan
One of the first things we do for people when they come into the office is perform a Metascan FootMaxx Foot Scan. Many people have biomechanical issues with their feet and they really have no idea this might be causing their symptoms. You really want to make sure this is one of the first things you are getting tested for when struggling with numbness and tingling in your legs and feet. I see many people who have gone to medical professionals and even podiatrists and they're not getting the answers they're looking for. Also, many people notice they are having problems and get fitted for orthotics however, the actual biomechanics of the feet are not taken into consideration in many orthotics fittings. As a Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner, I've received training on foot gait, studying the mechanics and measurements of the feet and then tailoring a custom prescription orthotic specialized for your feet. This is similar to receiving prescription glasses from an optometrist.
When taking all of these things into consideration, we can fit the person with a prescription orthotic that's going to match up exactly with the needs of their feet. In addition, if a person has a more serious problem such as neuropathy, we can perform different accommodations so it makes the orthotics softer to walk on. With neuropathy patients, their numbness and tingling is so extreme that it can cause pain simply by touching their feet. The softer foot orthotics reduce pressure and avoid blood flow constriction. If a person has neuropathy and can't feel their feet, we don't want to cause any restrictions in blood flow resulting in circulatory issues. The proper foot orthotic can actually prevent more serious problems from occurring later.
When examining the feet, there are five different points to look at on each foot. If a person has more than two out of five indicators on either foot, we know we need to do a more detailed exam and determine whether orthotics may be a viable option.
Initial Screening For Numbness and Tingling
Every person that comes into our office undergoes an initial screening. It helps us understand whether there is something going on from a neuromuscular perspective.
The Functional Movement Screen looks at how well your entire body is moving. It tests for range of motion and improper movement in several different areas. Our next test is the Posture Scan where we see how your posture is being affected by your current problem. This test provides me with some indicators of what might be causing the underlying problem.
Our Surface EMG test looks at the stress of the nerves and muscles along the spine. I also perform an orthopedic muscle testing screen to determine whether there is any weakness in the muscles, especially with the feet. Each foot is pretty intricate. There are 26 bones in each foot and 33 different joints so we need to make sure it's all aligned and moving properly. This is where the foot scan and corresponding testing is done (indicated above).
Why Testing the Biomechanics of Your Feet Is So Important
As mentioned earlier, when looking to resolve symptoms associated numbness and tingling in the legs and feet, we must look at the biomechanics of the feet. Your feet need to move in an appropriate way, especially for people consistently walking on hard flat surfaces or runners. Unfortunately, many people have never had their feet adjusted before coming to my office. As the base of the body's kinetic chain, it would only make sense that something higher in the legs or spine (leg pain, hip, knee or low back pain) can be triggered by something going on in the feet.
It's also important to look at the body from a neurological perspective. The brain and spinal cord is the motor control center. It controls how the body is moving. So we obviously need to have that working properly. Similar to the wiring in a house, when a circuit is blown, the lights won't turn on in a part of the house. We know there's something wrong and we need to determine why. When someone has symptoms in one part of the body such as tingling in the legs, it could actually be a neurological problem stemming from their feet.
If an individual is struggling with improper gait and they're not getting it checked out, the joints begin to wear abnormally resulting in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear type of arthritis. When things aren't aligned properly, you don't have the proper range of motion. When this happens, your body still wants to move normally but it's moving with the joints aligned abnormally so you wear the joints out prematurely. Your body is really good at protecting itself. It will even shut off some of the signals after a while allowing you to keep functioning the way you're functioning. This is why we conduct our initial functional screening for every patient that walks in our door. We want to find out where you have the problems right away.
Many times, people have struggled with a problem for so long, they are used to the pain. We call this being dysfunctional and non-painful and it's one of the worst positions for your body to be in. If a person is functioning normally and it's painful, those patients can get rehabilitated fairly quickly because the area hasn't been stressed over a long period of time. If someone is dysfunctional and painful, the problem has been there for a little while but the problem is still treatable with some rehabilitation.
The most severe cases are the patients in their 40s 50s 60s who have had a problem for a long while that is not getting addressed. It's dysfunctional but it's not necessarily painful anymore because they've had it for so long. Their body has become adapted to the pain and it shuts down all those pain signals. They've maybe taken pain medications every single day because that's the only way they get through the day. If these people could undergo the screening we offer, we could help people get off the medications and get back to moving and doing what they love to do without having that stress and abnormal range of motion and movement.
How is Numbness and Tingling in the Legs & Feet Treated in Other Medical Facilities?
The typical scenario that you're going to experience in the medical community is to cover up the pain, inflammation and swelling with medications. It's like putting a black piece of electrical tape over a red warning light in your vehicle...."Ah, we'll just ignore it until something bigger happens."
If you read the labels on most of these over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications, you're only supposed to take them for a maximum of two weeks. I've had patients joke to me that they call it their "vitamin ibuprofen" because they take it every day because that's the only way they can get through the day. If that's what's going on, you need to stop. You're causing major problems with your gastrointestinal tract and your liver. Most medical practitioners aren't bringing this up.
As I mentioned previously, when you put off receiving proper treatment, you are allowing your injury to reach a dysfunctional non painful status which is much more difficult to reverse. If not treated properly in the beginning, osteoarthritis sets in and joint replacement ends up being the only option.
With our muscle strength test, we can determine whether the problems are stemming from a peripheral musculoskeletal problem or a neurological motor control problem. In addition, many people believe they may have weak muscles in certain areas when really, the muscles are simply inhibited. Similar to how a circuit breaker functions, our nerves and organs connect to our muscles and tendons, the ligaments around a joint capsule and the joint synovium. If any of those areas are irritated, it's similar to a circuit breaker. Your motor control system or nervous system will shut off those muscles so they aren't irritated.
If it's a musculoskeletal problem, people are 90 -100% back to full strength almost right away unless there's some significant inflammation going on.
We also conduct a chiropractic treatment to look at joint alignment and range of motion and soft tissue treatments to help deal with myofascial trigger points or fibrotic adhesions that might be tethering two nerves or blood vessels that might be you know causing some that numbness and tingling.
Our K-Laser Therapy has been a very effective tool in managing pain and inflammation and our office is the only office in the Fargo/Moorhead metro area to offer this specific brand of laser therapy. We also provide full body traction therapy which has been helpful to relieve symptoms of numbness and tingling.
All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center takes a full body approach to pain relief. We begin with a full examination through full body testing. On your first visit we conduct a number of different tests so we are confident we are treating the root cause of your problem. Manual Muscle Testing, a Posture Screening and a MyoVision Stress Report are just some of the tests we perform.
If you have some of these conditions going on and you're looking for a Fargo chiropractor, phone or email the office and let us know what's going on. Call us at (701) 356-0016.
Our treatment process includes the following steps:
1. Initial Pain Relief Care and Elimination of Numbness and Tingling in the extremities.
2. Corrective Care Program to help restore your full body to its normal alignment.
3. Supportive Care Treatment Plan options to help keep you out of pain while allowing you to enjoy life.
4. Preventative Care so you can maintain those gains and prevent potential future issues before they happen.
We also provide special treatment options if you believe your symptoms are a result of Peripheral Neuropathy. (Click Here For Education About Numbness & Tingling Related to Peripheral Neuropathy)
If this sounds like the full body care you are looking for and wish to relieve your symptoms of numbness and tingling in your arms and hands or legs and feet, give us a call or contact us through our website at http://drpaulbekkum.com.
We want to get you back to doing what moves you!