For about a month I’ve been having a periodic tingling sensation in the right side of my back in the same spot. It usually comes and goes, but is starting to come more regularly. I am wondering what this could be from?
Periodic tingling in the same spot on the back is apparently a very common problem that, however, doesn't have a simple answer on what may cause it.
The member who replied first suspected the cause could be nerve-related since a tingling sensation occurs in the same spot on the back. He/she added that the nerve could be affected by the early symptoms of shingles, a possible back injury, or any number of different back problems. This member also encouraged the discussion starter to make an appointment with a physician as soon as possible.
Does anyone else experience occasional pain at the spot where it tingles?
For most, the tingling sensation wasn't painful, it just felt weird, or as one participant described it "like if ants were walking on the spot." Others, however, experienced pain which was debilitating and unbearable in some cases.
It hurts so bad, it's difficult to breathe.
Several participants described the experience as a combination of burning pain and numbness in shoulder blades.
Tingling has been reported to affect single spot on the middle of the back, under the shoulder-blade, usually on the left side. Besides tingling, itching and numbness have been reported as well. The tingling is periodic, meaning it usually comes and goes, but tends to come more regularly. Sometimes it may radiate toward the front.
Posture apparently made the tingling worse. It was particularly prominent in certain positions, such as slouching, washing dishes, sitting on a chair without cushions, etc.
There were many possible causes mentioned in the discussion with nerves being the most frequent. The nerves were affected by viral infection, such as shingles, damage as in peripheral neuropathy, or nerve compression due to herniated discs or other causes. Some participants mentioned they had noticed skin changes, such as dark patches or bruises which can be attributed to notalgia paresthetica, a chronic sensory neuropathy in which the skin of the upper back becomes itchy with a darker patch of skin on the itchy area. Some other possible causes mentioned were carpal tunnel syndrome and dermatitis, among the others.
Could it be the onset of MS or some other serious nerve condition?
Tinging or prickling sensation or numbness can be the early sign of the nerve damage from multiple sclerosis (MS) or neurologic lupus. Since it's hard to determine that based on a single symptom, you need to visit the doctor who will evaluate your symptoms and make a diagnosis.
Many reported having a mole at the spot where the tingling sensation occurred. Any change in mole needs to be evaluated, becaue skin cancers can cause itching, pain, numbness, tingling, or a feeling like there are ants crawling under the skin.
The participants in the discussion were mostly prescribed by anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Gabapentin, the anticonvulsant medication used to treat neuropathic pain, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, Valtrex fo shingles, cortizone creams, and many more.
What do experts say?
If you’ve ever felt tingling, crawling, numbness or itching in your skin for no apparent reason, you may have experienced paresthesia. Most people have experienced temporary paresthesia that happens when sustained pressure is placed on a nerve, usually, if we sat with legs crossed for too long, or fell asleep with an arm crooked under our head.
Chronic paresthesia, on the other hand, is often a symptom of an underlying disease (usually neurological) or traumatic nerve damage. Paresthesia can be caused by a wide range of disorders and conditions, including:
- Conditions affecting the central nervous system, such as stroke and transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord
- Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain
- A tumor or vascular lesion pressed up against the brain or spinal cord
- Nerve entrapment syndromes, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Diabetes Mellitus
- and more
A tingling sensation described in this discussion is a bit enigmatic because it does not affect the hands, arms, legs, or feet as would be expected of classic paresthesia, but rather a single spot located on the back, usually below or between shoulder blades.
Possible causes for this may be:
- Sitting or standing in the same position for a long time
- Pressure on the nerves of the spine, such as from a herniated disk
- Nerve injury or damage
- Shingles or herpes zoster infection
- A lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamins
- Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in the body
- Insect, tick, mite, and spider bites
- Seafood toxins
- Migraines, etc.
Some of the possible causes for tingling sensation have been mentioned in the discussion, such as shingles, pinched nerve caused by a herniated disc, and notalgia paresthetica.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster is an infection caused by herpes zoster virus that affects the nerve and the surrounding skin. A tingling or painful sensation in the skin on one side of your body only may be an early sign of shingles, especially if you also have a headache or if you're feeling generally unwell.
Pressure on the nerve caused by herniated disc, spine injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, tumor or other causes is another common reason for tingling sensation in the back. Sometimes the pressure on the nerve can be temporary, for example, because of bad posture, sometimes it can indicate a more serious problem.
Notalgia paresthetica is a nerve disorder that causes mild to severe and sometimes painful itching in the back. Itching mainly affects the area between the shoulder blades although it can spread to the shoulders and chest. Scratching the itch can cause patches of darker-colored skin to appear in the affected area. Besides itching, notalgia paresthetica can also cause other symptoms including:
- tingling, numbness, and burning sensations
- pins-and-needles feeling
- increased sensitivity to heat, cold, touch, or temperature changes
Several participants in the discussion reported having a mole on the spot where the tingling sensation occurred. Although rarely, some types of skin cancer may spread along the nerves, which can cause itching, pain, numbness, tingling, or a feeling like there are ants crawling under the skin. This sensation may or may not be accompanied by changes in mole appearance, size, shape or color, so it is important to visit a doctor or skin specialist for a correct diagnosis.Diagnosis and treatment of tingling sensation
The treatment of the tingling sensation depends on the underlying condition causing this sensation. Diagnostic evaluation, including an individual's medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests is essential for the diagnosis. Physicians may order additional tests depending on the suspected cause of the tingling sensation.
What symptoms have been reported?
What diagnosis has been made?
- the MRI showed I had one disk in my neck pinching a nerve that controlled my left arm and another hanging out.
- I just came back from seeing a neurosurgeon, who stated peripheral neuropathy!
- The doctor thinks it could be early stage LUPUS or MS.
- It seems I have a pinched nerve From a rib being displaced.
- They're thinking pinched nerve.
What helped relieve the symptoms?
- Also prescribed me a mild antiinflammatory which is helping in the meantime
- I have been having some success with the capsaicin cream.
- Gabapentin helps by "numbing" (or something) nerves that are not firing properly.
- Oh and I saw my Dr again today, she gave me an ointment called: ZOSTRIX Topical Analgesic Cream.
- As far as treatment goes, doctors will prescribe prednisone (a steriod) or neproxen (an anti-inflammatory).
Verification Claims & Medical Studies
take NSAIDS (non-steroidal antinflammatory drugs).
Please search the internet for upper cross or lower cross syndrome because these are some of the major reasons for back discomfort.
Gabapentin helps by "numbing" (or something) nerves that are not firing properly.
B-vitamins are really important for nerve tissue.
I was started on a low dose of amitriptyline (25 mg) at night and as long as I take it, I have no symptoms from this.