What causes the feelings of pins and needles/numbness/buzzing/tight bands etc?

I know it is nerve damage from the lesions but why does it cause those strange feelings? Why numbness? Why coldness/heat? What causes the buzzing? Why does a lesion cause the 'MS hug'?


Lesions cause something related to the normal function of that area or wipe it out, in which case, if it's an area that inhibits those things, they will happen when there is actually nothing happening. Hmm. Just re-read that; not sure it's terribly clear!

So, examples (which are not necessarily completely accurate!):

The MS hug is caused by the muscles between the ribs contracting which is caused by false signals to contract those muscles or damage to the area that tells those muscles to stay relaxed. (It's generally caused by damage to the motor tract of the spinal cord.)

Tingling, buzzing, hypersensitivity, and stuff like that is caused by either lesions in the sensory tract of the spinal cord causing fake signals or lesions somewhere along the path from there to the brain's sensory areas.

Numbness depends on what you call numb. If you mean completely unable to feel anything, then the sensory tract may be damaged completely at one point. Other than that, it's partial damage.

Burning and neuropathic pain are caused by either lesions in the pain & temperature tract of the spinal cord causing fake signals or lesions somewhere along the path from there to the brain's pain and sensory areas.

Tremor is caused by a lesion somewhere in an area responsible for control, e.g. the cerebellum, the basal ganglia.

Ataxia can be caused by this sort of thing too, but also a lesion in the parietal lobe which stores our "motor programmes".



Karen x

Thank you Karen! I just want to try and make sense of it all. Neuro's are always rushed and don't have time to answer all the questions we may have.

I want to get my head around it all and try to understand it better. You read about sensations etc but you have to search harder to find the reason behind it.

I received a letter from my neuro which said something about a lesion in brainstem, anterior modular? But do you rhink I can find any specific info about it? Nah. :/

Trying to find out what parts of the body are affected by a lesion in that area...

Not sure what the anterior modular is - could it have been the anterior medulla? The medulla is a major part of the brain stem (it's the bit underneath the bulge of the brainstem, which is the pons). If the letter actually says modular, it might have been the secretary's error during dictation. Or I could be completely wrong!


PS The medulla's full name is the medulla oblongata.

Hi Karen.

I have been looking for the letter but cannot find it anywhere. I put it somewhere 'safe'. Haha!

I am pretty sure it said brainstem then in brackets (anterior modular). I shall ask the neuro what that means when I see her next, in July. Hopefully I will find the letter by then...!

 Might be an error then, perhaps.  I shall let you know if I find out.