Numbness or weakness can occur in many areas of our bodies at any time.
From sleeping the wrong way to sitting for an extended period, most of us have experienced some sort of numbness or weakness at one time.
While the condition may only last a short while, there may be underlying health issues that make the problem more severe.
Often, when we have numbness or weakness in the finger, hand, or wrist, it may be due to daily or repetitive tasks that strain or immobilize this particular area.
However, performing these tasks on a regular basis can lead to long-term issues, including:
Every time our arms move, our shoulder joints move.
At some point, most of us feel numbness or weakness in the shoulder, whether from:
Common causes of shoulder numbness and weakness can include:
Most of us have had our leg “fall asleep,” where we experience numbness or weakness to the point of being unable to stand or walk.
While we typically regain normal function within minutes, there are conditions that cause numbness or weakness in the leg or knee for extended periods.
Some of the more common health issues that affect the legs and knees include:
While our choice of footwear is one of the more common reasons for numbness or weakness of the feet and toes, there are also medical conditions that can cause problems.
The most common health problems that can cause numbness or weakness in the feet and toes include:
While occasional numbness or weakness can occur in any of our extremities — for a wide array of reasons — be sure to share with your doctor those symptoms that could indicate a more serious issue.
Request an appointment with a UPMC orthopaedic surgeon:
The links below will open a new browser window.
UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:
UPMC Patient Education Materials:
From our Health Library:
Since the causes of numbness or weakness vary widely, your doctor will want to complete a thorough medical history.
To help your doctor diagnose your numbness and weakness, consider the following before your appointment:
Providing your doctor with these details will greatly assist in creating a sound treatment plan for numbness and weakness.
After completing your medical history and physical exam, your doctor may order tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
Tests to diagnose numbness and weakness may include:
Depending on the specific diagnosis and severity of the injury, your doctor at UPMC Orthopaedic Care may suggest a variety of treatments.
Treatment methods for numbness and weakness could include one or more of the following:
It's very important to note that some conditions — such as sciatica — are often symptoms of other health problems, such as a slipped/herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Seeking the advice of an orthopaedic specialist will ensure that your condition is diagnosed — and treated — as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org
For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.
For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com