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Causes of numbness in head

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

It can be very strange to feel a numb part of the body. It often happens in the extremities, such as arms or legs, by staying in a bad position for a while. But what happens when it is the head or scalp that goes numb?

A variety of problems can give rise to these types of symptoms: from a viral infection, a trauma, to a muscle contracture. The important thing is to reach the proper diagnosis to be able to carry out the best treatment and solve it as soon as possible.

If you are interested in knowing the answer to why I feel that my head is numb , you will find the causes below in this FastlyHealarticle.

Trigeminal nerve disorder

This nerve is the one that collects the sensitivity of the face and front of the scalp, in addition to allowing the movement of the chewing muscles, among other functions.

The trigeminal is more famous for being painfully affected than for being numb. The acute and almost disabling pain crisis is due to a disease called trigeminal neuralgia .

Sometimes numbness appears in the area that will later hurt. This numbness is known medically as paresthesia and may be why you wonder “why do I feel like my head is numb.”

The trigeminal nerve can also be affected by other pathologies and manifest its alteration through numbness of the scalp or areas of the face. It is the case of:

  • Diseases of the nerves: such as multiple sclerosis . In this case, different body nerves lose their functions, appearing symptoms of all kinds.
  • Nerve tumor : an abnormal growth of tissue, both benign and malignant, can cause loss of sensation in an area of ​​the head.
  • Viral infection : there are neurotropic nerves, which means that they have a certain predilection for affecting the nerves. The most common is herpes. It usually manifests with pain, but there may also be a sensation of numbness in the territory that innervates the affected nerve.


The solution of these problems will depend on the cause that originates it. For example, a viral infection often resolves on its own within a couple of weeks, sometimes longer. But for a tumor compression surgery or treatments may be necessary to try to reduce the tissue mass.

Also, neuralgia may require the use of potent drugs such as carbamazepine or baclofen and, in some cases, when there is no response to these treatments, nullification of that nerve may be attempted by clotting or nerve ganglion injury.

Cervical spinal nerve 1

The nerve corresponding to the first intervertebral space, known as C1 (for cervical 1) is the one that collects the sensitivity of the posterior area of ​​the scalp and neck.

Therefore, when it is affected, it can give a feeling of numbness, pain from the middle of the head back, or unusual sensations in the head such as burning or stinging.

The possible causes of this affectation can be:

  • Compression due to muscle contracture : it is one of the most frequent causes. Bad posture, an effort made incorrectly, staying in an inappropriate position for a long time can cause you to experience this discomfort.
  • Osteoarthritis : one of the places where this disease can arise is in the cervical vertebrae. Stiffness, pain, or numbness of the head, shoulders, or arms are the most common symptoms.
  • Nerve disease : multiple sclerosis, for example, can also affect this nerve and cause symptoms.
  • Tumor : despite not being frequent, a growth of non-normal tissue can cause this nerve to work improperly.


Treatment will depend on the cause of the discomfort. If necessary, pain relievers and even opioids will be prescribed for pain.

In case of contracture , it may be necessary:

  • Apply heat and physical therapy to the area.
  • Improve posture
  • Frequent exercises
  • Stretching

The arthritis is a chronic problem, therefore treatment should be aimed at improving the quality of life and changing unfavorable habits. It is necessary in those cases:

  • Improve nutrition with a diet for osteoarthritis .
  • Improve body postures.
  • Gentle exercises to strengthen the muscles in the area.
  • A consultation with rheumatology may be necessary to establish treatments.

In the case of tumors, everything will depend on their severity and extent. Surgery or other treatments may be required to reduce the size of the tissue.

Nerve trauma

If the discomfort appeared after a trauma or blow, it is possible that the cause is post-traumatic paresthesia and that is why you wonder why I feel that my head is numb.

This often presents with various nervous symptoms such as:

  • Numbness
  • Headache.
  • Ardor.
  • Feeling of electric shocks.
  • Altered sensitivity to heat / cold.
  • Tingling in the head
  • Numbness in the same area.


Depending on the physical condition of the person, the severity and location of the injury, the problem can be resolved only slower or faster. Depending on the case, different measures may be indicated, such as:

  • Vitamins of group B.
  • Analgesics.
  • Opioids.
  • Antiepileptics
  • Surgery.

dental problems

Often the sensation of numbness can be due to a problem in the dental arch and can be an answer to “why I feel that my head is numb”.

Some of the causes of numbness related to dental problems can be:

  • Cysts
  • Abscesses
  • Bad teeth.
  • Alteration in the wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth .

This can cause from numbness of the face to excruciating pain and alterations in sensitivity to cold or heat, among others.


The solution to the problem lies in solving the cause. If you only focus on relieving the symptoms of numbness or pain, you will not be able to improve, and even serious complications such as serious infections or loss of teeth can arise. Depending on the case , antibiotics, cleaning or other types of treatments may be needed .

Alterations in the jaw joint

This area is also known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and has the insertion of some of the strongest muscles in the body: those of chewing.

Among the most common causes that affect this joint are:

  • The bruxism.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Trauma.
  • Alterations in the morphology of the joint.

The bruxism is the fact clenching. It is an all too common problem lately and occurs as a way to relieve stress, often at night.

Among the most common symptoms of an affected TMJ are:

  • Itchy ears
  • Pain in the ears, head, neck, behind the eye.
  • Tiredness in the jaw or neck area.
  • Frequent muscle contractions.
  • Dizziness
  • Noises in the ear (tinnitus).
  • Numbness of the face or head.
  • Feeling of electric shocks.


Treatment is usually carried out by specialized dentists and is aimed at reducing tension in the area: exercising, physiotherapy and using relaxation plates.

If there is a morphological alteration or osteoarthritis, other types of orthopedic and / or surgical treatments may be required.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I feel that my head is numb , we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category .

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