Numbness (reduced sensation) and tingling (prickling sensation) are types of paresthesia (abnormal sensation). There are many causes of these symptoms ranging from simply sitting incorrectly to severe neuro-degenerative conditions. On the mild side, temporary numbness and tingling can be caused by bad posture, incorrect sleeping position, or even wearing tight clothing which puts pressure on nerves and blood vessels thus temporarily altering sensation. This type of symptom will generally go away quickly as the pressure is relieved by simply changing your posture or removing restrictive clothing. In cases where numbness and tingling are occurring frequently and are not relieved by simply changing your posture, then it may indicate an abnormal structural shift of the spine is causing nerve pressure via bulging discs or tightened muscles. This is what is commonly referred to as a “pinched nerve”. Finally, on the severe and more rare side, numbness and tingling can be caused by neurologic disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, encephalitis, transverse myelitis, or tumors.

Blair Chiropractic and Numbness and Tingling

The human head weighs between 10-12 pounds, which is similar to the weight of a professional bowling ball (13-15 pounds). The atlas, or top vertebra of the spine, weighs around 2oz, has no discs, nor locking articulations, and yet it is required to not only hold up the head, but also allow it to rotate from side to side. Imagine a stack of dominos holding up a bowling ball, and you get a good idea of why the atlas is the weakest link of our spine.

More recently, this poor vertebra has even more stress to deal with because modern postures and increased screen time have resulted in conditions such as anterior head syndrome and technology neck. The head and neck form a first-class lever, so when the head moves forward, it increases the effort of the muscles of the neck and shoulders. For every inch the head moves forward the force the muscles must exert to stabilize it doubles. This means that if your head is positioned 1 inch anterior to normal, your muscles will effectively be holding around 20 pounds instead of 10. In addition, this also increases the load on discs which can begin to bulge outward and press on spinal nerves and blood vessels.

Tightened muscles and bulging discs are common causes of numbness and tingling. The Blair Chiropractic technique uses a precise, gentle, and effective adjusting procedure that can help correct head and neck alignment, reduce anterior head posture, reduce muscle tension, thus reducing pressure to pinched nerves. Like any symptom, it is important to go through a complete examination, often including imaging, so that you can confirm there is no abnormal lesions hidden away. The good news is that generally these types of symptoms are not signs of serious lesions and tend to improve quickly with Blair Chiropractic Technique. A Blair chiropractor can even teach some simple neck exercises and ergonomic advice to help keep them away!


26302 La Paz Road, Suite 214

Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Phone Number:

(949) 359-8385


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Thursday | 9:00am – 5:30pm

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