What is Pin and Needle Like Sensation?
Pin and needle-like sensation all over the body or in local areas are termed as paresthesia of skin or altered sensation. It is painless but may cause numbness and itching in arms or legs or toes or feet.
The sensation is really unpleasant and abnormal in that part of the body. The person might feel like pin-prickly on the part of the body. It can be odd, unpleasant, uncomfortable but many times it is harmless.
Paresthesia is a medical term to describe the sensations occurring in the skin. It is considered as an abnormal or altered sensation generally felt in legs, hands, feet, toes, and fingers.
Pins and needles are commonly referred as “going to sleep” for the suffering body part. This occurs because the nerve and the artery are squeezed and the steady supply of oxygen and glucose to the nerve is seized.
The nerve can no longer work and loses its ability to send and receive signals. Thus, the particular part of the body where this happens “falls asleep” due to no proper blood supply and signals.
Removing the blockage, the nerve cells begin to work properly and the pins and needles sensation can be felt. When the blood supply comes back to normal the sensation is gone.
Pins and needles sensation is also supposed to be a result of anxiety and stress. Pens and needles in the limbs are also referred as peripheral neuropathy.
The American Chronic Pain Association estimated that more than 15 million people living in the U.S. and Europe are suffering from some kind of neuropathic pain.
It further reported that more than two out of every 100 people suffered from peripheral neuropathy. This incidence may rise to eight in every 100 people for people aged 55 or older.
What are the Symptoms of Pins and Needles?
The symptoms of pins and needles include:
- Feeling pins and needles poking in the arms, hands, toes or feet. It may also be felt on face, lips, stomach, etc.
- It affects one area at a time and can migrate to a different area.
- The symptoms can become and go or may persist for a longer period of time.
- It can lead to anxiety and depression.
- The symptoms vary from one day to another and from one moment to another.
- Distracted sleep and restlessness may also result.
Pin and needles can be temporary or long-lasting.
What is Temporary Pin and Needles?
Temporary pin and needles occur due to poor circulation of blood in a particular body part that resolves when the pressure is released when the pressure is released and blood circulation comes back to normal.
This Is called Raynaud’s disease. It is triggered by cold temperatures, anxiety, and stress. Raynaud’s disease is common in blood vessels that supply blood to the skin.
Other reason for temporary pin and needles can be hyperventilating i.e. breathing very quickly.
What is Long Lasting Pins and Needles?
In some cases, the pins and needles sensation may be long lasting if it is associated with any disease.
Some of the health conditions that might lead to long-lasting pins and needles are as follows:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- A compressed ulnar nerve of the hand
- Back muscle pain
- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Bulging disc
- Facet Joint Pain
- Neck Arm Pain
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Underactive thyroid
- Cervical Spondylosis
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Tennis Elbow
- Allergic reactions
The long lasting pins and needles can also result from the following conditions:
- any damage to the nervous system such as a stroke and multiple sclerosis
- exposure to any toxic substance such as radiation
- certain types of medication such as some antibiotics or HIV medication
- malnutrition or deficiency of vitamin B12
- any damage to the nerves due to an infection
- misuse of alcohol
- any tightening of muscles
Nerve entrapment syndromes may also arise due to pressure on a nerve by the surrounding structures. This condition is seen in carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve compression, and cervical spondylitis.
In the carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve of the hand is pinched by inflammation and it swells.
When to Seek a Medical Help?
Generally, temporary pins and needles do not need a medical attention because it disappears when the pressure is released and blood circulation is improved in that particular area.
If pins and needles sensation come back too often it is not a good sign and a medical help should be taken. If the sensation is due to a serious health condition such as diabetes or cervical spondylosis the treatment of the disease is mandatory to get rid of the sensation.
What are the Precautionary Measures for Pins and Needles?
There are some little things that can be done to minimize this type of sensation.
Some of these are listed below:
- wearing loose clothes and shoes
- wearing soft cotton socks
- avoiding lifting shopping bags, heavyweights
- taking regular breaks from work
- avoiding a bad posture
- doing physical activities such as yoga and other exercises
- controlling diabetes
- avoiding excess alcohol
- breathing slowly and during stress helps in long-term pins and needles
If the pins and needles still persist a physician should be consulted for a proper check-up. If pins and needles have resulted due to stress and anxiety then the person should calm himself/herself and the body will recover in 20 minutes.
Paresthesia of skin or the pins and needles is a curable disease that may be caused in association with other diseases.
Pin and needle sensation in the limbs can go off in few minutes and does not need a medical assistance but It is always advisable to consult a doctor in case of long lasting pins and needles.
Pins and Needles All Over Body and Dizziness
Paresthesia of skin is the term for pin and needle sensation. Pins and needles feel like a tickle or prick on your skin that is uncomfortable and painless. The feelings are mainly on your feet, hands, arms, or legs.
If the prickling sensation is persistent, it is a symptom of a more serious condition like nerve disease. Dizziness is due to lack of oxygen getting to your brain and can be a symptom of stroke.
Causes of Pins and Needles
There are various reasons as to why you can get this sensation. Some of the reasons are low blood supply, pressure on nerves, which is common during pregnancy.
Nerve injury and Neuritis which is the swelling of nerves can result in pins and needles all over your body. Underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism, Multiple sclerosis, stroke, pinched nerves and much more.
There are long-lasting sensations that are as a result of poor diet, after an injury or illness your nerves might be damaged, consuming too much alcohol, and some medications like those used to prevent seizures.
- Sensation in toes or fingers that can alter color to red from white.
- Pain and paresthesia of skin going down your leg to foot from the back.
- The Sensation is everywhere in the body.
- Numbness of the skin.
Pins and Needles in Hands when Sleeping
Most people have experienced numbness on their hands at one point in their life, which is normal, but if it continues for a while, inform your doctor immediately.
Your hand is going numb when you are sleeping due to the nerve from your neck to the hand getting compressed. Nerves have veins on the outside that supply oxygen for them, when the nerves are compressed, it means that they are being cut off from getting oxygen, and, therefore, it shuts down.
If the compression is removed, the nerve will wake up, but if it goes on for a while, some damage can occur at each occurrence.
The most significant cause is disc bulge or neck stenosis, or there’s little room in the neck bones as a result of arthritis.
In case your neck is in a weird position when you sleep, the muscles relax during the day, and the nerves get crunched. Therefore, your hands will go numb.
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), meaning the nerves in the shoulder area are being crunched. It’s common among computer users since you lean your head and shoulder forward, causing compression of the nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists can be another cause.
Diagnosis of tingling Hands
A neurologist might do an EMG (electromyography) which is a test that checks the electrical activity of your muscles. An NCS (nerve conduction test) is done to stimulate nerves to measure the strength and speed of the nerve signal.
You can get a CT scan, MRI scan, nerve biopsy or lumbar puncture tests done. This way you can know what the cause of the numbness is, and know the treatment options to consider.
When to see the doctor
Visit a doctor when your symptoms are extreme dizziness, intense pain, you cannot coordinate or speak correctly, you are experiencing vision problems, and weak muscles.
Numbness at night is a huge deal, and you shouldn’t dismiss it. Physicians are likely to ignore this but push for the cause to be identified. If not correctly diagnosed, the result is likely your shoulders, hands, and elbows ache every time.
Pins and Needles all over the body at Night
Tingles at night are sharp, prick-like sensation that you feel everywhere. Women going through a hormonal imbalance and body changes are more vulnerable than men.
Pins and needles in feet at night
Tingling sensation in your feet at night can occur due to poor circulation as a result of inflamed blood vessels. Your feet, therefore, cannot get oxygen-rich blood and you end-up feeling numb followed by sharp twinges.
Low blood sugar levels or those who have diabetes are culprits to pins and needles at night on their feet, although it is common for most people not to notice.
Tingles in hands at night
Tingles result in the inability to move the hand. It can be as a result of sleeping on your hand or crossing your hands over your chest. Neck injuries and poor sleeping patterns can cause pins and needles in your hands.
Legs tingling at night
Pins and needles in your feet at night can be due to trauma, such as lower back injuries, sitting or crossing your legs frequently. Reduced blood flow is the reason for the sensation.
High levels of alcohol and low levels of vitamins B12, B6, and B1 are other culprits of pins and needles at night. Nutrient deficiencies when they go untreated worsen at night when the body has consumed all the energy during the day.
Depending on the severity of the condition, night tingles are to be considered a health issue.
How to Stop Pins and Needles in Feet
People over the age of 40 who are vegetarians and suffering from diabetes are at high risk of suffering from pins and needles sensation.
There are medications such as antiviral medication, intravenous gamma globulin (IVIG) that are prescribed to help deal with symptoms, depending on an individual, until they improve. Here are some remedies you can do while at home to get relief.
Those who have diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels under control by exercising, having the proper diet and keeping up with their medications.
Whenever you feel the sensation in your feet, dip them in warm water, and if you want, add a pinch of salt, for ten to fifteen minutes. This will help you sleep well and also relieve the symptoms.
Increase the Vitamin B12 intake in your diet, or get supplements. Take them any time during the day regardless of what you are going to eat.
Limit the amount of alcohol you take and how much you smoke as well. Try and avoid wearing heels, if you can’t, limit the time you wear them. Take breaks to make your feet relax and not have to be in an uncomfortable pair of shoes or position for a long time.
Know your weight and try to keep within the range by having a balanced diet. Ask your doctor for a fitness program that will help you stay fit and maintain your weight.
Feeling Tingly all over and Tired
Being tired can be a result of muscle weakness which is a symptom of anxiety, and a sign of various health problems that you might have. If concerned, you can visit a doctor, but at times your muscle fatigue can be due to natural reasons.
Causes of Muscle Weakness
Muscle tension and fatigue are due to stress and anxiety. Anxiety can also reduce the blood flow to your muscles, but to a small degree. As your muscles don’t have energy, it will be difficult for you to do your regular duties.
Other causes can be hyperventilation, perceived weakness as your anxiety makes you oversensitive about your body. You tend to think about the way you walk, run and it becomes difficult to do it consciously.
Ways of controlling muscle weakness
- Slow deep breaths to reduce hyperventilation.
- Distract your mind when doing activities. You can do mental exercises, talk to someone to take the attention away from you thinking about how your muscles are moving.
Lightheaded and Tingling all over
Being light headed shouldn’t be something that you take lightly, it can be due to a couple of reasons. Some people who have been lightheaded have passed out, and the cause can be abnormal hear rhythm. Ergo, make sure once you feel light-headed, you get a check-up.
Lightheadedness is as a result of your brain having a short supply of blood. The doctor can check your blood pressure and heart rate to know if it is low and the underlying reason.
It is a tad tricky knowing when you are going to be lightheaded. Tingling feeling due to nerves being cut off of oxygen-rich blood and lightheadedness mainly go hand-in-hand. Inform your doctor or neurologist if you experience one or both symptoms.
Causes of Lightheadedness
- Not drinking enough water can make you feel lightheaded.
- You have an abnormal heart rhythm, either it beats too fast or too slow, and this affects the blood supply that gets to your brain.
- A problem with your heart valve that restricts blood flow to your brain.
- The type of medications you are taking. Some medicines like painkillers can result in lightheadedness. Or it might be because you are allergic to the medication you are taking.
- Lie down to resupply your brain and heart with blood, and you’ll feel better.
- Drink plenty of water to make you hydrated.
- Consult your doctor if you have allergies and what medication to avoid.
Fatigue Tingling Hands Dizziness
Dizziness includes lightheadedness, but it can also come from feeling the room spinning around you. All these combined are symptoms of various disorders such as fibromyalgia (FMS), or multiple sclerosis.
Women sufferings from FMS experience dizziness and fatigue due to the effect the syndrome has on their lives. Fatigue can be as a result of insufficient sleep due to the syndrome.
A visit to the doctor can help you narrow down what you are suffering from and what can be the best way to deal with it.
This YouTube video is to help you know how to treat the pins and needles that you are feeling and also understand better the causes for the sensation.