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Author Topic: How many different sensor types are there in skin?  (Read 1789 times)

Offline David Cooper

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I'm not looking for health advice here - just science knowledge. I recently (a month ago) lost a lot of the feeling in the top of my left foot and part of the way up the front of my left lower leg, though it's gradually coming back and is 90% of the way back to normal again now. The cause of this was spending for hours a day working on a computer with a piece of furniture digging into the side of my left leg about half way between ankle and knee (slightly lower, outside edge). I felt a bit of numbness in the top surface of my foot for a few days before a lot of the sensation was suddenly lost, and I only realised the cause when I rubbed the area where the thing had been digging into the side of my leg and it made the top of my foot tingle.

The temperature sensors were unaffected, and I could still feel pressure being applied as normal, but things felt weird in terms of texture. This is why I'm interested in how many different kinds of sensor there are, as it would be interesting to work out which set(s) of them has/have been affected.


 

Offline RD

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Re: How many different sensor types are there in skin?
« Reply #1 on: 26/08/2013 01:01:43 »
Pressure and temperature are low-resolution senses in comparison with touch sensation which requires more neurology to perform correctly. So peripheral nerve damage will be more apparent in touch sensation than pressure or temperature sensation.

Whilst you are attributing this problem to nerve compression, it could be that an endogenous process, rather than exogenous pressure, was damaging your nerves causing numbness making you unaware that furniture was digging into your leg
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy/DS00131/DSECTION=causes
[A give-away would be the numbness included an area more proximal that the area pressed on by the furniture ]
« Last Edit: 26/08/2013 01:32:47 by RD »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: How many different sensor types are there in skin?
« Reply #2 on: 26/08/2013 20:39:45 »
Oh, don't worry - I was well aware of the sharp edge digging into my leg, but just put up with it as I was working in a space where you couldn't swing a manx cat (or even a hampster). It didn't feel as if any actual damage was being done, until a lot of damage suddenly became evident, and it's taken a long time for that damage to reverse - I wasn't sure it was going to reverse as recovery was initially too slow to recognise, but it's accelerating towards total recovery now and has improved substantially in the last 24 hours to the point that I wouldn't now notice it wasn't quite 100% normal if I wasn't keeping an eye on it.

I've found a diagram that calls a nerve the superficial fibular and it fits well with the site of the pressure and the area affected. What I'm now looking into is whether further damage to it could have resulted in other sensations being affected and whether any motor function could also have been lost, because the speed at which the damage was done was so quick that it makes me wonder if it's possible to do serious and permanant damage in the same way.
 

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Re: How many different sensor types are there in skin?
« Reply #2 on: 26/08/2013 20:39:45 »

 

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