Do you ever experience a numb or tingling feeling in some specific areas of your body like your arms, legs, hands, or feet? Well ‘this sensation is very normal and is described as ‘pins and needles.’ If you’re also annoyed by this feeling, then we’ve identified the potential causes, the ways you can get rid of it, and also prevent it in the future.

What are the Pins and Needles Sensation?

An occasional sense of numbness, accompanied by tingling, is something that is felt by just about all. Having pins and needles is most normal in your hands and feet, although from time to time you may experience them in your arms or legs. It occurs as the nerves flowing up to the limbs and extremities are placed under strain. This condition is known as temporary paresthesia and it’s commonly known by the term pins and needles.

Causes of Pins and Needles 

The most popular explanation for pins and needles is sitting or lounging on one limb with your weight;  like tucking one leg under you. The relaxed blood supply lets your nerves set off an overwhelming sequence of stimuli on your brain until you lighten your weight by moving. Some common causes of pins and needles are:

  • Pressure – Wearing tight shoes or sitting on your foot will cause you a sore foot or hip, or it can cause you pins and needles.
  • Pinched nerve – A person can feel a tingling in his or her legs or hands due to a pinched nerve in the back. This may have occurred as a result of injury or swelling. Many signs of pinched nerves include discomfort and reduced mobility. Treatment of a pinched nerve includes rest, physical therapy, medications and surgery in severe cases.
  • Anxiety – People who have anxiety may have hyperventilated, which can cause tingling in the legs. Hyperventilation is a typical sign of anxiety and is characterized by very fast breathing. This creates an imbalance between the amounts of carbon dioxide and oxygen, which can lead the feet to tingle. Tingling in the legs and anxiety can be linked psychologically. That’s why, when a person feels anxious, they may be more aware of their physical sensations.
  • Pregnancy – Tingling of the legs is also felt while someone is pregnant. The uterus may put pressure on the nerves of a person’s legs as the baby develops. This may induce the pins and needles sensation. Staying hydrated, changing positions and resting with your legs up can help to relieve the feeling.
  • Diabetes – Diabetes induces elevated blood sugar, which may  contribute to nerve damage. People with diabetes may experience persistent tingling in their feet as a result. This condition is known as diabetic neuropathy.

How to Get Rid of Pins and Needles Feeling

Here are some of the most effective ways to get rid of pins and needles feeling

Try wiggling your toes 

Are you struggling with pins and needles in your feet? One possible reason can be when you sit at your desk at work for too long. One simple exercise to avoid it is to occasionally stretch your legs, and wiggle your toes. Wiggling your toes allows the blood to flow smoothly in your body, which would help increase the body’s blood circulation and thereby, avoid tingling sensation.

Shake your head side to side

Are you struggling with pins and needles in your arms? Try to rock your head back and forth. Usually pins and needles in the arms are caused by compression of the nerves around your neck. Gently shaking your head side by side helps loosen the nerves in your neck and would eventually lessen the sensations in your arms.

Maintain a decent posture 

One of the major reasons behind pins and needles is because the blood circulation in our body is uneven. The only approach to prevent this from occurring is to maintain a healthy posture. Maintaining a proper posture will ensure that blood gets evenly distributed throughout our body. You will notice that the effects would automatically disappear once normal posture is restored.

Take a walk around

If you have pins and needles in your legs or feet, walking around may seem like the last thing you want to do. But believe me, this is the best way to get rid of those uncomfortable sensations. By moving your legs around, you can enhance the blood circulation in your body, and the pins and needles would slowly disappear.

Try to clench and unclench your fists

If your hands are affected by the sensation of pins and needles, try clenching and unclenching your fists. This motion can quickly cause blood to flow and ease the sensation of pins and needles. 

How to Prevent Pins and Needles

Here is how you can prevent pins and needles

Get a massage 

Pins and Needles
Pins and Needles 

A massage can reduce muscle tension and promote better blood flow. Some people report improvement in pins and needles feeling after a massage is given.

Yoga and meditation

Pins and Needles
Pins and Needles 

Deep relaxation techniques done during yoga sessions or meditation will help you relax and concentrate less on the pins and needles sensations. Furthermore, increasing your flexibility would keep your limbs from falling asleep in other positions.

Reduce pressure 

Pressure from the affected nerve makes it possible to regain normal function. Seek to release the arm that troubles you by making sure nothing is pulling it back or placing weight on it. 

This type of numbness has a clear cause and would get better when the pressure is removed.  Also , consider investing in pressure stockings or gloves to prevent pressure on your foot or hands. Pressure belts or gloves may trick your brain into interpreting the feeling as pressure rather than pain.

Reduce alcohol 

Alcohol is a drug that can destroy nervous tissues. Drinking too much alcohol will contribute to a form of peripheral neuropathy known as alcoholic neuropathy. This disorder can induce discomfort and tingling in the arms , hands, and legs. These symptoms occur because the peripheral nerves have been damaged by alcohol. Therefore, it is advised to drink alcohol in moderate amounts if you frequently experience pins and needles sensation. 

Avoid vitamin deficiency 

Vitamin E, B-1, B-6, B-12 or niacin deficiency can induce tingling in the hands or legs. These vitamins are essential for the functioning of the nerves. Vitamin deficiency may be tackled by consuming a healthy diet loaded with vitamins and minerals or through nutritional supplements

Can pins and needles be dangerous 

Occasional or brief pin-and-needle movements are not really a reason to be stressed about. However, frequent pin-and-needle sensations in one limb, in both legs or in both hands can suggest a neurological disorder. Possible triggers involve a pinched nerve in the leg, neck, or back. The symptoms may also be associated with other neurological conditions like severe loss of control or trouble walking. 

Your doctor would help you better figure out what’s exactly the cause behind your pins and needles sensation. 

Also read: Causes Of Tingling Sensation In Hands & Feet