Rest And Immobilize The Area
The easy and important step in treating needle pricking sensation on the skin is to take rest and immobilize the area where you feel the sensation. Stopping all the activities which are responsible for nerve compression or damage. To take rest and put that particular area in a resting state can minimize the needle pricking sensation on the skin. This rest will allow the damaged tissue to heal.
Blood flow towards that area will be recovered during rest. To put the body part in immobilize state sometimes doctors recommend brace or splints to immobilize the hands in carpel tunnel syndrome. Splinting is best to treat pinched nerves. But immobilizing the part for too long can cause other problems to tissues.
Pinched Nerves And Pins And Needles
Nerves can be compressed or pinched by bones and other tissue. Some examples include:
- carpal tunnel syndrome the main nerve that services the hand runs through a ring of wrist bones. Inflamed and swollen tendon membranes reduce the amount of room inside the wrist and irritate or compress the nerve. Symptoms include pins and needles, pain and weakness in the hand
- cervical nerve root irritation nerves in the neck exit the spinal cord via small holes between the vertebrae. These small holes can be narrowed by inflammation, injury or outgrowths of bone tissue . 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 starts between the vertebrae of the lower back. This nerve can be irritated or compressed due to problems in the lower back or pelvic or buttock area causing pins and needles, and sometimes pain, down the legs.
But Not All Pins And Needles Are Of The Temporary Variety
Release pricking is typically more painful than the first two stages, but the emotional aspect of the experience is more often described as curiosity or interest. It hurts, but only physically. The sensation eventually subsides, but people are usually unable to pinpoint exactly at what point their skin sensations return to normal.
But not all pins and needles are of the temporary variety. Chronic paresthesia can occur as part of a variety of neurological disorders or following particularly traumatic nerve damage, like a bad burn.
In one study, researchers from Montreals Hotel-Dieu Hospital and McGill University worked with 104 burn patients to understand the long-term pain that followed their injuries. Many continued to feel pain even a year after their treatment was completed. After all, intense burns can often involve the destruction of nerves and their receptors, and surgical treatments for those injuries often involve skin grafts, which can also involve damage to and scarring of nerve cells.
Some people report long-lasting pins and needles after receiving local anaesthetic
Don’t Miss: What Causes Basal Cell Carcinoma
The Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve
The culprit inside your body zapping you with thigh pain has a long namethe lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. As a sensory nerve, its job is not to move your leg, but instead to tell you if a soccer ball is hitting your thigh, an insect is crawling over your thigh, or to sense if your thigh is otherwise being touched or burned. Originating in the spine, the nerve traverses over bones, then through muscle, ligaments, and fat to reach your thigh skin, where it performs its mission of converting tactile cues into electrical messages that it sends back to the spine and up to your brain.
The nerve encounters challenging bodily geography along its path from your spine to your leg, however, as it must summit the mountainous iliac crest of your pelvis, tunnel through the sinewy psoas muscle, leap over the bony ski-jump-like protrusion of the anterior superior iliac spine, weave through the inguinal ligament in your groin, and finally emerge out through fat layers to your skin. Interestingly, not everyones lateral femoral cutaneous nerve takes the same path from their lumbar spine to their thigh skin. Nor does it branch in the same areas. Scientists dissecting cadavers noted the peculiar differences in the branching pattern and locale of this nerve even in the 1800s.
Different Types Of Pins And Needlesand What Causes Them
There are two kinds of paresthesia: episodic paresthesia and chronic paresthesia.
Common Causes of Episodic Paresthesia
Episodic paresthesia happens when you put pressure on a nerve for a little too long. If you’ve ever felt your leg go numb after crossing your legs for a while, you’ve probably experienced episodic paresthesia.
“Most people have felt the feeling of pins and needles beforespecifically when they fall asleep on top of their hands or arms for a prolonged time, or sit with their legs crossed for too long,” says Chanha Hwang, a Nevada-based physical therapist. “Once the pressure is relieved, the pins and needles goes away within minutes.”
Episodic pins and needles can happen as a result of an acute stressor, such as:
- Sitting or standing the same way for too long
- Restricting blood flow to your hands or feet
- Crossing your legs for a long time
Common Causes of Chronic Paresthesia
When there’s not an obvious stressor, the pins and needles may be caused by an underlying health condition. This is called chronic paresthesia. Like the episodic kind, chronic paresthesia is also the result of sustained nerve pressure, but it’s often caused by an underlying health condition . You may be experiencing chronic paresthesia if you can’t pinpoint the source of your pins and needlesor if yours is frequent and/or long-lasting. It’s associated with certain health conditions like:
- Accident or injury
You May Like: How Serious Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Signs It’s Time To See A Doctor
If you’re frequently experiencing paresthesia, if your paresthesia lasts for a while, or if you can’t pinpoint the cause of your paresthesia, consider asking your doctor for their expert opinion. And don’t put off making that appointment. “Due to the sensitivity of the nerves and/or blood vessels involved, it is imperative that you don’t delay, since it may lead to permanent damage,” Yoo says.
Your doctor will start by helping you understand what’s causing your paresthesia. “Your doctor will review your medical history, as paresthesia can be caused by existing conditions, such as diabetes or alcoholism,” Hwang says. Then they might ask you about your symptomshow long have you had them, what seems to trigger them, and whether anything make them better or worse. After that, your doctor may run a few testslike blood tests, an X-ray, and/or MRI.
“In general, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional when new symptoms of any kind arise,” Dr. Yoo says. So be sure to reach out to your primary care provider if you notice unusual, frequent, or long-lasting pins and needlesor pins and needles that doesn’t seem to have an acute cause.
There Could Be Several Reasons For The Pesky Pins
Just about everyone is familiar with the feeling of “pins and needles.” But in the medical community, this common phenomenon is known by a much fancier name: paresthesia. “The phrase ‘pins and needles’ is frequently used to describe the feeling that someone is pricking your skin with thousands of tiny pointed objects,” says Jerry Yoo, a physical therapist and founder and CEO of Next Level Physio. “Typically, these tingling sensationsalso known as paresthesiasmean that somewhere in your body, a nerve or blood vessel is irritated and needs attention.”
But why does pins and needles happen, and what can we do to make it go away? Is it a sign of something more seriousor just an unpleasant inconvenience? We talked to a few health experts to find out.
Also Check: Sensitive To The Touch Skin
What Are The Treatment Options For Paresthesia
Treatment for paresthesia will depend on the underlying cause. In most cases, effectively treating the primary condition will result in relieving the secondary symptoms of paresthesia.
Temporary paresthesia as a result of sitting for extended periods of time or sleeping in an awkward position will typically resolve once you change positions or move around.
Who Is At Risk Of This Needle Pricking Sensation
Anyone can experience the needlepricking sensation on their skin, but some people may be more prone to it,especially if they:
- Perform repetitivemovements that compress the nerves like typing or playing an instrument.
- Have a poordiet and drink heavily.
- Have type 1or 2 diabetes.
- Have been diagnosedwith a neurological condition like multiple sclerosis.
Read Also: Skincare For Acne Prone Skin
Tips To Prevent Needle Pricking Sensation On The Skin
Besides treating the illness and other causes which are responsible for sensation there are some tips which are useful in preventing these sensations.
Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for a long time and avoid all that position and body posture that can put pressure on nerves.
Avoid injuries that can cause this tingling sensation on the skin. Good position and posture of the body while dealing with heavy objects can prevent the occurrence of this needle pricking sensation on the skin.
People suffering from neuropathy due to hyperglycemia can prevent these sensations by maintaining their blood glucose level. These patients should eat a healthy and less caloric diet. Regular physical activity is a key factor in preventing these sensations.
Avoid doing repetitive movements and try to take a break during these movements.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase the intake of food containing vitamin B12. Avoid excessive use Jalapeno as it can burn your skin.
Keep yourself calm and stress-free by doing some regular walk and meditation.
Why Do I Have A Pricking Sensation At The Surgery Site
Answered by: Prof Suneet Sood | Consultant Surgeon, Malaysia
Q: A few years ago I had an abscess on my thigh that took very long to heal so I had it removed by a surgeon. Now the area above it has become very sensitive and feels like pins and needles pricking at times. What is the cause for this and a remedy?
A:After any injury tissues get damaged. Nerves also get damaged. When nerves heal, they set up unusual communications. Therefore a touch sensation, which should stimulate a touch nerve, may actually communicate with a pain nerve and result in a pain sensation. Your concern is: Will this go away? The answer is Probably. Most such problems resolve in 6 months, but it can take longer. I realise that your pins and needles sensations have been there for some years, but I dont think you have an option other than to wait.
You May Like: Black Spots On Dog Skin
What Do You Mean By Pins And Needles Sensation
Every once in a while we notice something what is called as a pins and needles sensation which is a sensation of something pricking or tingling normally in the hands or feet. In medical terminology this sensation is called as paresthesia. In vague terms, the affected limb is said to have fallen asleep. The most common cause of pins and needles sensation is lying on the affected limb for a long period of time thus compressing the nerves of the limb and reducing the blood supply to the area. Once the pressure is released the pins and needle sensation goes away. There are cases in which pins and needle sensation is very frequent and is caused by some nerve damage due to certain disorders of the nervous system. In such cases consultation with a physician is required.
Fast Facts On Paresthesia
The symptoms of paresthesia or a pinched nerve include:
- tingling or a pins and needles sensation
- aching or burning pain
- numbness or poor feeling in the affected area
- feeling that the affected area has fallen asleep
- prickling or itching feeling
- hot or cold skin
The symptoms can be constant or intermittent. Usually, these sensations occur in the affected area but may spread or radiate outward.
Some factors increase the risk of having a pinched nerve:
- Gender: Women are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome, possibly due to a narrower nerve canal.
- Obesity: Extra weight can put pressure on nerves.
- Pregnancy: Weight and water gain associated with pregnancy can cause swelling and pressure on nerves.
- Thyroid disease: This puts a person at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Diabetes: Having diabetes can cause nerve and tissue damage.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This causes inflammation, which can also compress nerves in the joints.
- Prolonged bed rest: Lying down for extended periods can cause nerve compression and increase the risk for paresthesia.
- Overuse: People who have jobs or hobbies that require repetitive motion of the hands, elbows or feet are at a higher risk for a pinched nerve, paresthesia or nerve damage.
Anyone can get a pinched nerve, and most people will have experienced paresthesia at some point or another.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take For Melanoma To Develop
Causes Of Needle Prick Feelings In Your Skin
If you are experiencing these feelings because of one small incident of sitting too long on one leg, then ignore this section. If, however, your symptoms are going on for a long time and you are avoiding going to the doctor because you think youll be wasting their time, you should read this.
Needle pricks in the skin, when there is no underlying cause, can be a symptom of a great many, quite scary sounding issues. It could be a sign of damage to the spine, nerves, or even brain damage. You should go and get checked out to ensure that your skin tingling is not caused by a stroke or TIA Multiple Sclerosis Diabetes a tumour Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or an inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.
Not to scare you, of course, but if you have long term, chronic needle pricking in your skin that is not caused by anything obvious, then you really should go and get it checked out.
What Is Pins And Needles
Pins and needles feels like pricking, tingling or numbness on the skin.
It happens when the blood supply to the nerves is cut off. This is usually when you sit or sleep on part of your body. It only lasts a few minutes.
You often get pins and needles in your:
It usually stops when the weight is taken off the body part and your blood supply returns to the nerves.
Also Check: How Skin Cancer Look Like
Treatment Of Needle Pricking Sensation On Skin
Treatment of needle pricking sensation on the skin depends upon the underlying causes which are responsible for these situations. Needle pricking sensation is treated accordingly first of all the cause or medical condition is diagnosed then cause is treated along with these sensations. Following are some of the possible treatment of needle pricking sensation on the skin.
See A Doctor If Your Pins And Needles Are Severe Or Long
Occasional bouts of pins and needles usually arent a cause for concern. But, if youve tried home remedies and your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, you should see your doctor.
Chronic paresthesia could be triggered by nerve, spinal cord, or brain damage. It can also be caused by the following conditions:
Don’t Miss: What Does Merkel Cell Carcinoma Look Like
When Should I Be Worried About Pins And Needles
You should dial 999/112/911 to call an ambulance if you notice you have a loss of power down one side of your body .
If the attacks of numbness/pins and needles recur or you do not make a complete recovery, you should see your doctor soon to seek medical information. You should also go if you have signs of a neurological disease .
If you have lots of attacks, or you hurt yourself because of the numbness, your GP may want you to see a specialist. In all other cases, you should see your GP.
Treatments For Neurological Causes Of Paresthesia
Paresthesia can be a symptom of a serious neurological condition. Doctors may address these underlying conditions with treatments including:
- alcohol misuse rehabilitation to treat alcohol use disorder, which can lead to alcoholic neuropathy, a complication of alcohol misuse that results in nerve damage
- chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or targeted therapy to treat brain tumors that may be causing paresthesia symptoms
- diabetes treatment and management including diet, exercise, insulin, medications, and weight loss to prevent the progression of diabetic neuropathy, which is a complication of diabetes that causes nerve damage, most often in the legs and feet
- endovascular embolization to treat an arteriovenous malformation that is putting pressure on the spine, resulting in paresthesia
- medications, including drugs originally prescribed for seizures, stroke, or depression
- multiple sclerosis treatment and management including complementary therapies, medications and physical therapy to address paresthesia symptoms of MS
- surgery such as carotid endarterectomy or aneurysm repair to treat or prevent stroke, which can cause paresthesia and other nerve symptoms
- vitamin B12 supplements to address numbness caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency
Learn about tingling in one hand.
Also Check: What Can Skin Cancer Do
Simple Tricks To Get Rid Of Pins And Needles
If you’re experiencing episodic paresthesia, try:
- Removing pressure from the tingling area
- Changing positions
- Wiggling your toes
- Clenching and unclenching your fists
- Shaking the body part that’s tingling
- Removing any restrictive clothing
If you’re experiencing chronic paresthesia, consider seeing a doctor. Since the paresthesia may be linked to an underlying health condition, home remedies may not help.
How Is Pins And Needles Sensation Treated
The treatment for Pins and Needles sensation depends on the cause of it. If the Pins and Needles sensation is caused due to carpal tunnel syndrome then carpal tunnel release is required for relief from the symptom along with splinting, braces, and giving rest to the wrist. Physical therapy may be done for treating pins and needles sensation caused due to a pinched nerve due to a bulging or protruding discs. Sometimes a surgery may also be done to relieve symptoms of pins and needles sensation. The best way to cut down symptoms of pins and needles sensation caused due to neuropathy due to diabetes is to have good control of blood sugars. Abstaining from alcohol is absolutely necessary to get rid of Pins and Needles sensation.
Also Check: Can Melanoma Skin Cancer Kill You