Odd Nerve Sensations in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Learn About Paresthesias

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Tingling. Burning. Crawling. Itching. Numbness. Highly sensitive skin. All of these are odd nerve sensations that can be a part of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. They're most common in the feet, hands and face, but you can get them anywhere.

The medical term for these feelings is paresthesia. Sometimes, paresthesia is associated with peripheral nerve damage or chemotherapy drugs, but most of the time the cause is unknown.

Just another fun part of having a neurological condition, I suppose!

Paresthesia can range from barely noticeable to really painful. I get a variety of these sensations, including an occasional "itch" that feels like a cigarette burn, tingling in my hand, and sometimes extreme pain just from contact with a waistband - it doesn't even have to be tight.

My weirdest paresthesia is in my left leg. When I run a finger up and down the back of my calf, I feel the touch on the side of my leg, going the opposite way (I discovered this while shaving). When I mentioned this one to my neurologist, he shrugged and said, "You folks with fibromyalgia get a lot of these weird nerve things that no one believes - except we neurologists, 'cause we see it all the time."

If you have painful paresthesia, treatment can include NSAIDs, antidepressants (SSRIs or SNRIs), vitamin B12, capsaicin cream, massage or acupuncture.

Alcohol can make them worse, as can too much vitamin B6.

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