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Pins and Needles ( I know you all got the reference immediately)

Throwback to Phineas and Ferb teaching us about aglet

At some point in our lives we have felt that pins and needles are being poked at our hands or feet which cause extreme discomfort although for a short while. Have you ever wondered what this problem might actually stem from and what would happen if this lasted for longer intervals of time?

‘Pins and needles’ (paresthesia) is a sensation of uncomfortable tingling, prickling, itching or skin crawling usually felt in the hands or feet. The influenced region is here and there said to have ‘slept’. A typical reason is inclining or lying clumsily on an arm or leg, which either presses against the nerves or decreases the blood supply to the area. Changing position rapidly restores the issue as the nerves begin sending messages to the cerebrum and spinal cord once more. In some cases, pins and needles are caused by temporary or perpetual nerve harm or certain disorders of the central nervous system.

Make sure to see your doctor if you experience frequent or persistent bouts of pins and needles.

Common features of pins and needles include:

  • prickling and tingling sensation
  • numbness
  • return of normal feeling a few minutes after changing position.

Hands, arms, legs, and feet are the parts of the body most generally affected.

Pins and needles can be caused by a variety of occasions and conditions including nerves, including:

  • weight on nerves (frequent in pregnancy)
  • squeezed nerves
  • inflammation of the nerves (neuritis)
  • nerve illness (neuropathy)
  • lessened blood supply
  • nerve damage
  • hyperventilation or breathing excessively
  • the impact of lethal substances on the nerves, for example, liquor or lead
  • the use of certain medications
  • diabetes
  • multiple sclerosis
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid organ)
  • transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • stroke.

Weight-related Pins and needles

The nerves of the body send data back to the mind and spinal cord. At the point when a tangible nerve is squeezed by being in a confined or awkward position, the messages are interfered with, which can cause pins and needles.

Once the pressure or weight is taken off the nerve, functioning resumes. An uncomfortable prickling sensation is caused by the restarting of pain messages from nerves to the cerebrum. This, for the most part, settles within minutes.

Squeezed nerves and pins and needles

Nerves can be compressed or ‘squeezed by bones and other tissue. A few cases include:

carpal tunnel syndrome – the primary nerve that administrations the hand goes through a ring of wrist bones. Aggravated and swollen ligament layers decrease the measure of room inside the wrist and disturb or pack the nerve. Symptoms include pins and needles, pain and weakness in the hand

cervical nerve root irritation – nerves in the neck leave the spinal cord by means of little gaps between the vertebrae. These little gaps can be limited by irritation, damage or outgrowths of bone tissue (bone spurs). The nerves are irritated or compressed, causing pins and needles and, sometimes, referred pain into the arms

sciatica – the legs and feet are serviced by the sciatic nerve, which begins between the vertebrae of the lower back. This nerve can be irritated or compressed because of issues in the lower back or pelvic or buttock area causing pins and needles, and sometimes pain, down the legs.


Neuritis is inflammation of the nerves. Pins and needles are one of the symptoms of neuritis. Some of the causes of neuritis include:

  1. liquor – chronic overconsumption of liquor can be lethal to nerves and cause a condition called peripheral neuropathy
  2. Guillain-Barre syndrome – an autoimmune condition in which the person’s nerves are attacked by the body’s own immune defense system, thought to be triggered by some kinds of viral and bacterial infection

Nerve disease

Nerve disease, or neuropathy, is characterized by the lack of sensory information to the brain due to damage of the sensory nerves. For example, a person with neuropathy may not experience pain to the normal degree, if at all.

When to seek medical advice for pins and needles

The occasional bout of pins and needles is a harmless event. However, chronic pins and needles can be a warning of some other underlying disorder. Always see your doctor for a thorough medical investigation if you experience persistent or frequent episodes of numbness or pins and needles.

Treatment relies upon the cause. For instance, carpal tunnel syndrome might be treated with rest, and medications, for example, calming and diuretic prescriptions. A compacted or irritated nerve may require treatment, for example, physiotherapy, medicine or (in some cases) medical procedure to facilitate the weight and permit full nerve working to continue.

Underlying conditions such as diabetes need to be properly controlled to ease associated symptoms, including pins and needles. The symptoms of nerve inflammation and damage caused by chronic over-consumption of alcohol generally improve once the person stops drinking.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Pakistan Physical Therapy Association (PPTA)

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