my feet and hands go to sleep at night, mostly my hands. when I drive for a long period of time my left heel fells spongy and when I walk it takes several
steps to get the feeling back.
I have had a nerve test and everything checks out good.
I have had a mri and told I have deteriation of the spine and severe stenosis
and recommended by specialist to have spinal block but I am not in any pain
and don't understand why that would be needed.
in the past I have had hyperthyroid and have it checked every year and told
it's in range.
what type of doctor should I see next?
As a foot specialist I see this situation quite often. A patient is having numbness in their foot/feet and so their first thought is to see a foot doctor.
The problem here is that your numbness (sometimes can even be pain, tingling or burning into the foot) is manifesting itself in the foot (and hands) but the problem and the origin is in the back. In your case obviously the upper (hands) and lower (feet) back.
What you are experiencing is known as a radiculopathy which is a nerve impingement, or pressure against the nerve where it exits the spinal canal.
In your particular case this is due to spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the vertebrae that generally occurs with age, or trauma, or even back surgery for other issues.
So when you sit or lie in a certain position the vertebrae closes together even more and you start to experience numbness in your feet.
So, if this problem bothers you enough and you have to realize that one of your options is to just live with it, you would need to see a back specialist.
Back specialists would include neurologists and pain management specialists which are usually anesthesiologists. Their treatment is usually a block of some sort to try and relieve the pressure of the vertebrae on the nerves.
If having injections in your back does not appeal to you then you might consider a round of anti-inflammatory medication or a round of oral prednisone which may reduce the inflammation around the nerves and thus reduce your symptoms. Although certainly an acceptable treatment, if it works it will give you relief but probably not permanent relief.
Since I do not treat backs, I am not sure if physical therapy would be of any value but you could certainly ask your back doctor.
Another option would be to see a chiropractor. In my mind they treat backs in a similar manner to physical therapists where they do repeated treatments on the affected area in an effort to relieve the pressure against the nerves.
As I said earlier, since you know the problem is not due to a more serious nature as you have had an MRI, you could also chose to just live with the problem. Its your call.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER