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Can Anxiety cause Paresthesia?

Hello,  I am new to the board.  I had a groin/abdomen injury about 7 months ago.  Tried Physical Therapy, Chiro and all diff types of Doctors before I was lead to a general surgeon for a possible hernia.  I had Laproscopic Inguinal mesh hernia repair 3 months ago.  The recovery was normal with little side effects.  Then the injury seemed to resurface about 6 weeks later, which spiked my anxiety and nerves.  Since then, i have been having reoccuring muscle spasms/tingling/numbness/burning sensations that started in hands and feet and have since grown to most of my extremities.  The groin/abdomen injury seems to be getting better thru Chiro visits, stretching and light physical activity.

I thought I had finally beat this whole thing earlier in this week when i started to walk more, be more active and do rehab in a pool.  I felt great!  that was 4 days ago.  Since then, the paresthesia has come back in full force in most of my body and some of it has become painful, albeit very briefly.  I have had an MRI on my brain, all 3 parts of my spine, and pelvis and nothing abnormal shows.  All of my blood tests came back normal for deficiencies and thyroid.  I had an EMG two weeks ago and they couldnt find anything.  I thought it might be due to stress but i was not stressed when my workouts were successful earlier this week.  The paresthesia just came back all the sudden two days ago after i had a physical day around the office (tried to walk around alot and take breaks to get the blood flowing since i read this is good for nerve issues)

As of today, this is the worst the paresthesia has ever been and now my stress is back at it!  I cant help it when my whole body is tingling and no doctor has been able to find what is wrong.  Does anyone know what else i can do to try and remedy the situation or who else i can see?  Ive already seen a Neurologist, who ordered the MRIs and the EMG test and he couldnt help me.  I dont have any other symptoms like fatigue/headache/flu like symptoms.  I sleep decent but not great.

What could this be?  Its starting to scare me to death and the stress makes it worse.  I need help!!
3 Responses
370181 tn?1428180348
As I was reading your post, I thought "this guy needs to see a neurologist!" but then I saw that you'd seen one, so there went my best immediate recommendation.

The next thing that came to mind was that during your surgery, a nerve was damaged, perhaps even severed. During surgeries, nerves are often damaged but have an amazing ability to "re-grow." While that process is going on, we often have a pins and needle sensation. Did you speak with your surgeon when you first noticed the paresthesia, and if so, what did he/she say?

There can be a number of reasons for paresthesia and a neurologist is the doctor of choice to rule out the various causes. There is also a condition called  peripheral neuropathy that causes many of the same symptoms. A podiatrist would be the doctor of choice to rule this in or out.

I truly wish I had a hard and fast answer for you, but nerve pain is extremely difficult to diagnose/treat/find. We have thousands of miles of nerves in our bodies and I think most, if not all of them are connected. Have you ever had a pain in your left upper calf and simultaneously felt the exact same pain in your right upper arm? Google a diagram of the nerve pathways in the human body. It's mind boggling.

I don't think I'm being much help. If I was you, I would first speak with the surgeon. Barring any help there, I would return to my neurologist and say if YOU can't help me, who CAN?
I WOULD see a podiatrist since they deal with peripheral neuropathy every day.
Something is going on and someone should be able to give you an answer.

Perhaps someone else on the forum has better answers for you. I really do understand how annoying and frustrating when no one in the medical community can seem to help us, but there are many stories like yours and eventually the cause is found. I urge you not to give up.

You could post this to our Alternative Medicine Forum and see if the folks there have any advice for you.............
I wish you the best and hope you'll keep us updated.
Good luck

Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply!  The surgeon hasnt been much help.  He said the surgery was successful and every follow up, says everything feels normal and fine.  Of course he claims nerves weren't hit or damaged during the surgery since why would he take any responsibility.  He and his nurse dont claim to know the cause of the paresthesia so they cant help.  I have an appt today w/ a new Neurologist for a 2nd opinion about nerves "re-growing" and stress/anxiety and what else we can do.

I generally feel great all day physically, save for the paresthesia and stress (meaning i dont have many other symptoms)  I thought about a Podiatrist too since most of the tingling starts and is most prevalent in my toes and feet!  

I appreciate the advice and the time you took to answer my question.  I will try a different forum as well.  Thanks!
370181 tn?1428180348
You don't need to tell me about surgeons! I WOULD believe him that your surgery went fine, but it surprises me he wouldn't even discuss possible nerve damage from the surgery......explain the process and the possibilities. It's not like he doesn't KNOW this stuff.

I'm glad you'll be getting a second opinion from another neuro and are considering a podiatrist since you say the paresthesia is more prevalent in your feet.

I know it's very difficult, but try not to get overly stressed out and anxious about this. It will only make things worse. Someone is going to figure this out and help you.

I am sending you, via private message, a very small portion of a paper on nerve regeneration. This barely begins to cover the topic but I'm hoping it will give you some encouragement. I have had 8 major surgeries and have had some degree of paresthesia from all of them. I have none now, but I had three C-sections and they cut me open along the same scar for the last two. I have no "pins and needles" but I AM totally numb for about a 1/4 inch around the entire scar. My doctor, while he was most sympathetic, said "well, nerves get whacked during surgery every single time!"

Keep me updated and I'll send that info now. Hope it helps you understand what your dealing with.
RubyWitch .    
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Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
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