Superficial tingling numbness and coldness in lower legs

by Stephanie
(Vineland, NJ)

Superficial tingling numbness and coldness in lower legs

About 2.5 weeks ago while sitting on my couch working with laptop & laptop desk on my lap for a few hours, I felt pins and needles in both legs from the knee down and thought both legs "fell asleep" due to sitting in this same position for a while.

When that feeling subsided a few moments later, I still felt some remaining slight tingling and numbness in my lower legs and toes. That feeling has continued and is very strange. It feels as if I received a shot of novacaine that is beginning to wear off.

It is in a very specific area in the same spots on both legs. It begins an inch or two below the knee and goes down into my feet. But is only on the outside of each leg, so from about the outside edge of my shinbone to just about the back middle part of the leg.

in my feet it is milder but goes along the outside edge of both feet into the toes stronger towards the little toe and not as much towards the big toes. As I mentioned it feels very superficial and is the craziest feeling, for example when I shave my legs. When I start on the inside of my leg it feels normal. As I progress towards the affected side the sensation become more pronounced.

There is no pain at all. None in my legs, none in my back, etc.

They also feel as if they are terribly cold all the time although they are not actually that cold to the touch...maybe just a bit cooler down by my feet than up by my knees. I do have scoliosis with a double curvature but have not received any chiropractic treatment since I was a teenager and do not experience any back pain since I had a breast reduction at 28 yoa. I am now 39 yoa.

Even as a teen, the treatments were because my mom made me after a positive scoliosis screen at school, not due to any symptoms on my part.

Should I be evaluated by a chiropractor? I have an appt with my GP to ask for blood work to investigate the possibility of B12 deficient, thyroid issues or MS. Last year I did find out I had iron deficiency anemia which he has been following up on and at that time serum B12, folate & TSH were all normal.

It wasn't until I came across your page that I even thought of chiropractic evaluation as an option. Any feedback you can provide would be very much appreciated.

Dear Stephanie,
Thank you for a very clear report in the Queen's English!

My initial impression was that this is probably not a chiropractic problem. No back pain, no leg pain, tingling in both legs, but...

* You do have a double scoliosis

* The pattern does follow much of the S1 dermatome, which does not always include the upper leg.

Can you in any way provoke the tingling and numb feeling. Does any combination of bending, twisting, moving your legs bring on the symtoms?

Alternately, is there anything you can do to relieve them?

You could try this Slump test for Sciatica but it will be difficult to interpret because you are getting the tingly feeling in both legs.

Honest injun? I'm not sure. Start with your doctor as you are doing; if s/he comes up with nothing, then start shopping around for a thorough chiropractor. This isn't run of the mill stuff. Find a good chiropractor would then be your next stop.

I hope this has contributed.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

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Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

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6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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