View Full Version : Numb & Tingly from Scoliosis?

crimson ghost
07-06-2007, 04:07 PM
I have had numbness and tingling in my arms, legs, face and tongue for the past month – so far no real diagnosis. I had a fusion of L5 S1 7 years ago and I visited the surgeon and he said the fusion is sound – my back is feeling week which is why I visited him. He said I have arthritis that he can see on the xray, I am due to visit a rheumatologist in a couple of weeks. I was also told that I have slight scoliosis due to the fusion, can scoliosis cause numbness and tingling as I have described?

07-06-2007, 04:27 PM
Scoliosis can cause a variety of symptoms or secondary problems including numbness and tingling. Often it results from nerve impingment of the peripheral nerves (the nerves that exit the spine and travel to sites outside of the spinal column and subsequently impinged by the excessive tension within the soft tissue network it travels through). Ocassionaly, (as studies have shown roughly 20 - 30% of the time) nerve impingment can occur at the spine between the vertabrae where the nerves exit (neural foramen). This is not nearly as common because the 'normal' mechanics of the spine do not create nerve impingment without some type of moderate to severe disc degeneration, collapse, abnormality, etc.

You should maybe look into seeing a neurologist. Given that you have numbness and tingling in the face and tongue would suggest cranial nerve involvement. That's quite a bit different than other types and would require a less typical situation in the body to irritate the cranial nerves (partcularly the lingual nerve of the tongue). Have you had an MRI? Has a chiari malformation or syrinx been ruled out.

It's also unusual that you would have numbness/tingling of several nerve plexi/roots as ranging from the tongue (cranial nerves) to the legs. That would suggest either several sites of impingment throughout the spine (again, unusual), a connective tissue condition that would effect a broad range of peripheral nerves and cranial alike, or a situation involving the spinal cord itself higher up.

I would recommend putting the rheumatologist appointment on hold for now and seeing a neurologist first.

Best wishes to you.

crimson ghost
07-06-2007, 06:59 PM
Hi Structural – thank you for the reply. I have been researching on the internet and trying to learn – I know very little of the spine and nerves. My current understanding is that the sensations run down the body and not up – this is what concerns me. I recently had blood work done in order to rule our Lyme’s disease and other little beauties along this line – those results are going to take another week.

I have an appointment with a neurologist in 3 weeks, its 2 weeks to the rheumatologist – I am going to keep both appointments since I have no idea what’s going on with my body. But my lower back is still feeling week and achy, I know the term achy is not the best but is does describe my current sensation.

Roughly 5 weeks ago I was in the hospital with what appeared to be a pulled muscle, I could hardly move as the pain was unreal. Drugs (pain killers and muscle relaxants) worked and after 5 or so days the pain subsided and I was left with this ache. Along with the ache has been the numbness, it use to be mostly in my legs and thumbs – then primarily in my thumbs. Today its primarily my cheeks and tongue – but it still hits all the spots. I believe the numbness is beginning to subside as I am being weaned off of Prednisone (was 60 MG a day, currently down to 20 mg a day...thankfully). But the numbness was there before the Prednisone, so I can’t call it a side-effect.

Anyway, the only diagnosis thus far is Scoliosis – so I have nothing else to go on until I get the blood work back and see the rheumatologist and neurologist.

07-17-2007, 10:28 AM
I have treated patients with symtoms similar to yours except for tongue numbness. Facial, arm and leg numbness have been present. As structural has suggested there were several problems with the spine - twists in various locations were causing the different problems. I can only assume that if you already had to have an L5 S1 fusion that you already had a curvature/twist in your lumbar spine. This could just be a further development.
When I reduced the twists in the cervical and lumbar spines the symtoms disappeared.
If an MRI does not show up any other serious underlying problem then I would reckon this is your problem as well.

07-17-2007, 11:17 AM
Any luck with tangible evidence of your successes? Photos, xrays? What about that study you were looking into with the university? Does anyone in Canada do this Tamars thing? Could you describe the protocol used in the treatment of a curve such as mine? right thoracic 24 degrees left lumbar 26 degrees. The reason I am asking is I am working on a theory and wanted to know if it was a similar principle. (Not a real scientific theory, just a pain driven uneducated pursuit of a remedy type theory. Hahah!) Dave

07-17-2007, 02:54 PM
You know, Rayknox, unless you have a degree in Neurology and Rheumatology, you shouldn't "reckon" on this forum! You could lead someone with a serious medical issue astray!

There are many medical issues that can not be diagnosed with an MRI. It is a very general test.
Her symptoms may be related to MS, Lupus, Lymes, as she mentioned, etc. .. etc.....

Sounds like someone is on the ball with a full workup.
It would be difficult for scoliosis to cause her entire range of symptoms.
Crimson, please be sure and keep both your appointments.

A rheumatologist is better able to deal with some of the autoimmune possibilities that could cause your symptoms. You may need a neurologist to detect other causes. If you have some impaired blood flow in the brain, and your symptoms are not entirely bilateral, your symptoms could be due to TIA's or something similar.There are a myriad of possibilities!

07-17-2007, 04:43 PM
If I could find an x-ray to show removal of numbness I would use it. I am quite sure if a patient tells me the numbness is gone, then it it is gone. Or is that not realistic.
We are continuing to move forward getting evidence that will satisfy people like you but here it is difficult to obtain x-rays from hospitals unless the patient has gone private and is given them.
Protocol for a case like yours - free up all the joints in the spine and rotate them back to where they should be. The final result will depend on how old the scoliosis is but it will be improved.
Canada I am not sure about. If you are interested I will try and find out. Early stage practitioners will not be very effective with the treatment but even they will get some changes.
I would never treat a patient that did not have a spinal condition that suggested the symtoms discussed. It only takes a few minutes to check and if the spine is not twisted then something else serious is possibly present. The treatment is also very safe so the patient is not under any risk.
And why would spinal twists not cause all her symtoms. I have already told you if you would read it that I have treated patients with almost the exact symtoms. The symtoms disappeared when they got treatment. Is that not easy for you to comprehend!!

07-17-2007, 11:20 PM
I would never treat a patient that did not have a spinal condition that suggested the symtoms discussed. It only takes a few minutes to check and if the spine is not twisted then something else serious is possibly present. The treatment is also very safe so the patient is not under any risk.
And why would spinal twists not cause all her symtoms. I have already told you if you would read it that I have treated patients with almost the exact symtoms. The symtoms disappeared when they got treatment. Is that not easy for you to comprehend!!

So if the spine is twisted, you assume all the symptoms are due to that. In the meantime, if it is Lupus, Lymes disease, MS, or TIA's, all conditions that require IMMEDIATE, UNDELAYED TREATMENT, the patient possibly suffers irreparable harm. Sorry! BAD IDEA!
You can't assume because one patient, or many, responded to your treament, that the current patient with these serious symptoms has the same underlying cause.
Is that not easy for you to comprehend?

07-18-2007, 05:24 AM
I wouldn't assume anything. If all other tests are negative then this is another test. The original question was ' can scoliosis/twists cause these symtoms. All I said was that it can. I didn't say that nothing else causes them.
The other tests should be done first, as I said to rule out anything sinister.

Karen Ocker
07-18-2007, 04:43 PM
For crimson ghost:
You are only fused 1 level L-5 to S-1; was that for scoliosis? or a disc problem??

Usually many more levels are fused. Do you really have significant curves??

Your symptoms must be evaluated by the proper specialists --as it seems you are doing. Everything else, until then, is conjecture.

10-21-2007, 12:27 AM
I've been experiencing very similar symptoms. Numbness & tingling primarily on the right side of my body though. Right arm, leg, and my ring & pinky fingers on the right hand. I've been to the neurologist and the rheumatologist, both of whom performed tests and all the tests came back negative. I was relieved on some level to find others on this forum experiencing the same thing. At least it confirmed for me what I had originally thought which is that my symptoms are directly related to my scoliosis. I was diagnosed at about age 11, at which point I was told that my curve was so slight that I would never need surgery. Unfortunately at age 17 I was involved in a serious car accident which caused me to fracture my spine in two places. In addition, the accident caused the curvature to increase severely which in turn caused me to have to have surgery. I ended up having spinal fusion and CD rod instrumentation surgery in 1989. Since then I've been relatively pain free and active. However, the last 2 years I've begun experiencing the above mentioned symptoms along with noticeable muscle imbalances. My right side is weaker than my left, and I also get sporadic burning sensations in different parts of my body. So far regular massages help, but I plan on looking into Yoga for Scoliosis and other alternative methods to see how that works in helping me to alleviate my symptoms.

Sorry I don't have an answer or solution to your problem, just wanted to let you know that there are others out there experiencing the same things that you are.

If you find a remedy, please be sure to post and share.

08-27-2008, 05:53 PM
I have been reading all of the posts here and was hoping I might find some answers. I was born with cerebral palsy. The right side of my body was affected in the form of less developed muscle mass, smaller bones, lack of coordination and balance. I wore a brace and had surgery to stretch my heel chord at seven. I did pretty well but was diagnosed at age 13 with scoliosis. I don't remember the degrees but there were two curvatures one at the top and one at the bottom of my spine. The curves weren't considered great enough for either surgery or a brace so nothing was ever done. I was supposed to have surgery again on my heel chord at age 18 but the Doctor I saw decided it wasn't necessary. At age 19 I was diagnosed with MS. This affected the other side of my body. My symptoms ranged from loss of motor control, balance, vertigo, speech impairment, etc. I am 42 now and have had only mild to moderate disability. In March of this year my shoulder and neck became very painful. I have degenerative arthritis in my cervical spine and my Dr. diagnosed me as having cervical radiculopathy. I was sent for physical therapy. At about this time I began to experience numbness and tingling along my forearm and down into my wrist and hand and just under my shoulder blade. An MRI and xrays were done but revealed no damage except for the degeneration. I finally agreed to an EMG which I swore I would never have again, but again, negative results. I had been having these symptoms for nearly six months and my Dr. informed that he believed it was due to silent lesions and that the damage is probably permanent. While I don't entertain denial, I'm having a hard time believing this is symptomatic of MS at least in my case. I have lived with MS for nearly 23yrs. I can't help but wonder if the scoliosis might be the cause of my numbness and tingling. My apologies for such a lengthy question but it was hard to ask without offering a bit of background. I would appreciate any input.
Thanks, asis