Q. After getting neck pain, I have tingling and numbness in my legs. Is this normal?

Answered by
Dr. Gursimran Singh
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 23, 2021 and last reviewed on: Mar 22, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am a 39-year-old male without any systemic illness. Previously, I got neck pain in the gym. My neck became stiff with pain. It was accompanied by mild dizziness and it went away after five to ten minutes. After that, I consulted a physician and I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in the neck. After few days, it got radiated to my left arm. Again, I consulted a physician and he told me that radiculopathy is normal with pinched neck nerve. He referred me to a physiotherapist. After that, I stopped doing heavy overhead exercises and I started to do physiotherapy training on the neck with a light band. It has been six weeks now and my condition is better. Before three days, I started to have tingling and numbness in my feet with chills after sleeping and it went away after waking. Is this normal? Do I need to evaluate this condition?



Welcome to

I have gone through your query. A pinched nerve is different from a pinched spinal cord. Compression of the spinal cord can be suspected clinically and it is confirmed by doing MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the cervical spine. It is unlikely to have tingling in both legs due to compression of the spinal cord. You can have a diagnosis of a pinched nerve in the left arm causing symptoms in the legs. Kindly answer my questions. Please mention whether you have numbness only in your left leg. Please mention whether you have done an MRI scan previously. Please mention whether you have any stiffness while walking. Please mention whether you have any difficulty in passing motion or urine. Please answer my questions to have a good diagnosis.

Thank you doctor,

I have numbness and tingling present on both legs. Does chills cause numbness and tingling? I do not have any stiffness while walking. I have perineal tendonitis in the right ankle and it was confirmed by the doctor before few months by examining it. It got better when I stopped running for long distances. I do not have any problem while passing urine or stool. I am going to do a cervical MRI next week. Do tingling and chills are related?



Welcome back to

Numbness and tingling can occur due to problems in the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves. If the symptoms are present in both legs, then it is good to do spine imaging. If it is present only on one leg and arm, then it is good to do nerve conduction studies. Chills can occur due to superficial involvement of nerves and it is not related to spine problems. You need to do physiotherapy. Running can help your knees to get better. Please attach the reports of MRI and images in the follow-up.

Thank you doctor,

I am attaching the reports of cervical spine MRI. Do I need to do a brain MRI to rule out MS?



Welcome back to

MS (multiple sclerosis) occurs most commonly in females than males. The common symptoms are sensory loss in limbs or one side of the face, unilateral visual loss, acute or subacute motor weakness, diplopia, gait disturbance, and balance problems. Lhermitte's sign is observable. It is seen as an electric shock-like sensation that runs down the back and limbs due to flexion of the neck. The other symptoms are vertigo, bladder problems, limb ataxia, acute transverse myelitis, and pain. You need to do a spine MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to rule out MS. There are other things such as eye examination including VEP (visual evoked potential test), MRI spine with contrast, and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) examination for oligoclonal bands. It looks like a muscle pull and spasm. You will become fine soon.

Thank you doctor,

I have done a cervical MRI and I have attached the report.



Welcome back to

I have gone through your cervical MRI report. I cannot see anything except minor issues like degenerative changes. These MRI changes occur almost in every individual. You can start doing good cervical exercise. The cervical spine serves as a location for multiple sclerosis and you do not have any efficient changes on it. As you are too young, you will not get ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at this stage. ALS starts with twitching, cramps in calves, thinning of muscles, and swallowing issues. MS or ALS remains stable in your life with a good exercise regimen.

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