Pins and needles sensation is characterized by a tingling and loss of sensation or feeling in some portion of the body. It may be associated with other alterations in sensation, such as burning or numbness. The commonest cause is when you lean against a particular part of the body for a protracted period of time.
Persistent sensation of pins and needles is an indication of a serious disorder and must be handled promptly. A sensation of uncomfortable tingling or prickling is typically felt in the hands and / or feet. It is vital that you confer with your health care provider and start the treatment right away.
The condition manifests as:
- Prickling and tingling sensation.
- By and large, the normal sensation returns in a few minutes after changing position.
- Hands and feet are most commonly afflicted.
What Causes Pins And Needles Sensation?
The pins and needles sensation occurs due to damage, irritation, impingement or compression of the nerves. One nerve or several nerves can get afflicted, as is seen in a herniated disc in the spine or carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist.
More often than not, the affected nerves are situated on the periphery of the body. Seldom, the numbness occurs due to disorders in the brain or spinal cord.
Your health care provider requires an exhaustive data regarding your symptoms to make a diagnosis for the precise cause of numbness. He will order a battery of investigations and tests to substantiate the cause before the treatment can start.
Common etiological factors for tingling numbness include:
- Pressure on the nerves
- Nerve impingement
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Brachial plexus injury
- Reduced flow of blood
- Inflammation of the nerves
- Herniated disc
- Acoustic neuroma
- Trauma to the nerve
- The effect of toxic substances on the nerves, such as lead
- Certain drugs and medicines
- Diabetes mellitus
- Multiple sclerosis
- Transient ischemic attack
- Brain aneurysm
- Raynaud’s disease
- Brain tumor
- Brain arteriovenous malformation
- Lyme’s disease
- Fabry’s disease
- Guillain barre syndrome
- Heavy metal exposure
- Trauma to brain
- Trauma to spinal cord
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Spinal cord tumor
- Kidney tumor
- Side effects of chemotherapy or anti HIV medications
- Vitamin b 12 deficiency
Treatment Options For Pins And Needles Sensation
The treatment of numbness calls for a multi-disciplinary approach; and depends up on the diagnosis and the precise etiological factor. For example, a case of carpal tunnel syndrome is managed with rest to the affected hand, analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents and splinting. Nerve impingement requires treatment such as physical therapy, drugs or surgical intervention to allay the pressure and to ensure that full nerve functioning will recommence.
Underlying conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and tumor masses need to be managed to alleviate the symptoms. Nerve inflammation, irritation and impairment caused by chronic alcoholism generally improve once you stop drinking. By and large, most physicians prescribe vitamin B12 supplements to manage the case well.
You also should consume foods which are loaded with vitamin B 12 – green leafy vegetables, whole grains, eggs and nuts. Regular follow up visits with the doctor as well as investigations are very essential to manage the case successfully.