The pins and needles sensation is a name we give to the cold, prickling or tingling feeling which affects our limbs or other body parts from time to time. Even our mouth and neck can experience this sensation. Fortunately, pins and needles, or, medically, paraesthesia, is not painful. Rather, it causes numbness and itching which disappears after a short while. Yet, some people are constantly bothered by this sensation, giving it a completely new perspective.
Temporary or Chronic?
In most cases, the pins and needles sensation is temporary. For example, when we kneel for a longer period of time, or sleep on our arms, the blood supply in the area gets cut off from the pressure, resulting in pins and needles sensation. Once the blood rushes back into the area and circulation is re-established, the sensation vanishes.
As for the chronic pins and needles sensation, the same symptoms appear. However, here, they do not disappear but either bother a person constantly or reappear frequently. Usually, chronic pins and needles are a sign of multiple sclerosis or diabetes. Thus, if the sensation is constant, you might want to contact your doctor and seek medical assistance, looking further into the problem. Chronic pins and needles sensation is treatable through medications or even surgery.
Reasons behind Chronic Pins and Needles Sensation
Many kinds of nervous system disorders may trigger chronic pins and needles. For example, strokes, brain tumors or abscesses, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, mini strokes or spinal cord diseases, all are possible culprits.
Alternatively, one may be suffering from a connective tissue disease like rheumatoid arthritis and suffer from pins and needles constantly. Carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica, as well as atherosclerosis and blood vessel diseases add on to the list of possible causes. Finally, nerve inflammation, HIV or Lyme disease can also be behind the persistent sensation.
More Possible Causes of Chronic Pins and Needles Sensation
Exposure to lead or radiation, or any other toxic substances can result in pins and needles which do not go away. Sometimes, malnutrition or certain medications may trigger this phenomenon. Alcoholics are the group of people likely to suffer from this problem too. Ultimately, cancer, direct trauma to the nerves or vitamin deficiencies are the final items on the list of causes of chronic pins and needles sensation.
The treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Thus, people with chronic pins and needles sensation need to seek treatment timely, allowing their doctors to diagnose the culprit with precision and start adequate treatment or schedule a surgery.