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Forearm tingling can be attributed to a variety of minor and major conditions. For instance, forearm tingling may be caused by tennis elbow, nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic paresthesia or multiple sclerosis. It may also be caused by diabetes or a condition known as Reynaud’s phenomenon.
Although tennis elbow references a particular sport, it may also be caused by golfing, racquetball, weightlifting, and other exercises engaging the arms and hands. It is triggered by improper arm form when performing these tasks, as well as tight or weakened muscles in the forearm. In cases of tennis elbow, tenderness and pain are also frequently reported in conjunction with forearm tingling. When accompanied with numb forearm symptoms, however, nerve damage may have occurred.
Carpal tunnel is often characterized by forearm tingling. Usually, carpal tunnel will begin with a gradual but frequent burning sensation in the hand and fingers. Symptoms also appear to worsen at night. Other symptoms associated with this condition include itching and feeling as though fingers are swollen even when they are not.
As an autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system. Individuals with MS often report tingling in the forearms and legs, as well as a burning sensation at various times of the day. Other symptoms may include muscle spasms, tremors, weakness in the limbs and impaired mobility. Forearm tingling in tandem with some or all of these symptoms may be due to the onset of multiple sclerosis.
Chronic paresthesia is frequently characterized by forearm tingling, as well as tingling felt in the hands, feet or legs. While it is common for people to experience these symptoms periodically when a nerve has been compressed by sitting in one position too long, individuals with chronic paresthesia feel it more often and, in some cases, it does not go away. When this occurs, it is generally due to severe nerve damage or a neurological disorder, such as MS or a stroke.
Diabetes may also be an underlying cause of forearm tingling, as well as tingling in the hands and feet. When diabetes is a factor, individuals will also usually report other symptoms, such as fatigue, extreme hunger, frequent urination and a loss of weight even when there has been no change in eating habits. A complete medical exam is necessary in determining if a tingling or prickling sensation in the forearms is due to diabetes.
Raynaud’s phenomenon, which commonly occurs in individuals suffering with certain forms of arthritis, may also cause forearm tingling. This is usually due to the condition interrupting circulation in various parts of the body. Raynaud’s phenomenon may be due to an underlying medical condition or it may occur randomly without a separate condition being present.
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