The most common cause of pins and needles is a moderately and temporarily pinched nerve. People often experience an uncomfortable pins and needles sensation from sleeping on their arm the wrong way, or sitting too long (e.g., on the toilet). When this happens, a nerve gets squeezed and is unable to carry electrical impulses that normally transmit feeling to the brain. The resulting tingling or numb sensation is called paresthesia and is a sign the nerve is irritated and transmitting extra signals. Paresthesia can result from many different causes and can be temporary (reversible) or permanent (usually from nerve, spinal cord or brain damage).
When should I seek treatment for pins and needles?
Even worse than pins and needles is numbness or anaesthesia, or a total lack of sensation. Anaesthesia occurs when there is severe nerve compression (e.g., a pinched nerve). Fortunately, most pinched nerves and nerve compressions are transient and can be quickly reversed with early treatment. Neglect, however, can lead to permanent nerve injuries.
A persistent sensation of pins and needles is a warning signal that requires urgent medical treatment to avoid further damage or permanent loss of feeling. Here are some common causes of pinched nerves:
- Back muscle pain
- Bulging disc
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease
- Pinched nerve
- Spinal stenosis
If you’re experiencing consistent pins and needles or numbness for more than a few hours, you may have a severely damaged nerve. You need to seek urgent medical treatment to avoid permanent nerve damage.
Back Pain & Sciatica Center of Texas is a state-of-the-art medical center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathy symptoms using a specialized treatment protocol that aims to heal damaged nerves, reduce neuropathy pain and restore balance and strength. Call 936-494-1222 to learn more.