Paresthesia may affect any part of your body, including arms, hands, legs, and feet. Typically, the person experiences the following paresthesia symptoms in the affected area:
- burning or aching pain
- tingling or the sense of “pins and needles”
- itching or prickling sensations
- numbness and poor feeling in the affected area
- cold or hot skin
The paresthesia symptoms may be constant or intermittent. Typically, paresthesia symptoms are felt only in the affected area, however, they can spread or radiate outward.
Diagnostic evaluation of paresthesia is based on identifying the underlying conditions that cause the paresthetic sensations. A doctor will need your medical history, perform a physical examination, and laboratory tests to check paresthesia diagnosis. Physicians may request additional tests depending on the suspected cause of the paresthesia. The nerve conduction study usually provides helpful information for making a diagnosis. In addition, a CT scan and MRI are sometimes used to rule out some causes of the central nervous system.
- Nerve conduction study: This is a measurement method of the speed with which nerve impulses travel in the muscles.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This diagnostic method is used to look at different tissues and regions of the body in high detail.
- Electromyography (EMG): This method is used to look at the electrical activity of interaction between nerve and muscle.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound diagnostic provides the body’s images and can be applied to smaller regions of the body to look for nerve damage or compression, such that can occur in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The test that your doctor will order for you depends on your symptoms, medical history, and physical examination results.