What are the causes of a tingling back?

Abnormal sensations throughout the body, such as tingling, are known as "paresthesias." Tingling in the back is commonly caused by nerve damage due or disease. It is important to address tingling---it can eventually lead to numbness in the area effected.

There are many potential problems associated with tingling in the back, several of which are explained in this article. If you have tingling in your back---or any other areas of your body---that doesn't go away, see your doctor, as it could be a sign of serious illness.

Nerve Injury

Nerve injuries, such as pinched nerves, can occur anywhere in the body and commonly result in a tingling sensation in the back. Nerve injuries can be time sensitive, with the likelihood of permanent damage increasing with any delay in treatment. It is imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Nerve injuries can be treated through physical therapy, medication, immobilisation or through surgery.

Anxiety or Panic Attack

If your tingling sensation is accompanied by fear, worry, sweating, dizziness or ringing in your ears, it may be caused by a panic attack or an anxiety disorder. It may be difficult to accept that your back pain and tingling are being caused by a psychological illness, but tingling is a common symptom of panic attacks.


Tumours around the spinal cord are often discovered because of complaints of a tingling sensation. The tingling sensation would occur below the location of the tumour, in the lower back and legs, and may be accompanied by back pain. An MRI would be used to detect at spinal cord tumour.

Multiple Sclerosis

Tingling is a common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis, commonly referred to as MS. MS causes lesions on the brain, which result in a tingling sensation throughout the body. When tingling is caused by MS, it usually begins in the hands and/or feet, and slowly progresses toward the centre of the body; however, tingling in the back is not uncommon, so your doctor may want to test for MS if you report tingling in your back.


Tingling in the back may also be a symptom of diabetes. The onset of diabetes is gradual, and many people that have it are unaware. Diabetes causes elevated blood sugar, which damages the nervous system, and may cause tingling. If your tingling is accompanied by blurry vision, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, fatigue, or weight loss, especially if you do not have back pain, you may have diabetes, and should contact your doctor as soon as possible for further evaluation.

Alcohol or Tobacco

Over-exposure to toxic substances, including alcohol and tobacco, can cause a tingling sensation. The presence of such substances in the body, over time, causes nerve damage, which results in a tingling sensation in your back. This nerve damage is permanent, and the tingling is unlikely to subside.

Circulatory Disorders

The circulatory system delivers blood to every single cell in your body. When the circulatory system is not functioning properly, parts of your body do not get sufficient blood flow, and a tingling sensation throughout your body may result. The health of your circulatory system can be improved by reducing blood pressure, losing weight and smoking cessation. If you are overweight, a smoker or you have high blood pressure, your tingling is likely the result of poor circulation.