Remedies for Pins and Needles
Most of the time, that irritating “pins and needles” feeling is nothing to be concerned about. Maybe you sat too long with one leg crossed or fell asleep with your head on your arm. But are you starting to feel the uncomfortable sensation more than once in a while? It may be your body’s way of telling you that you need to address an underlying problem.
Occasional Pins and Needles
An intermittent sensation of numbness, followed by tingling, is something that just about everyone experiences. Getting pins and needles is most common in hands and feet, but you may feel it in your arms or legs from time to time. It happens when pressure is put on the nerves running to your limbs and extremities.
The most common reason for pins and needles sitting or lounging with your weight on one limb — such as when you tuck one leg under you. Once you relieve that weight by shifting, the relieved blood flow makes your nerves fire off an overloaded series of sensations to your brain. This phenomenon is known as temporary paresthesia, or the more informal phrase “pins and needles.”
Of course, it’s possible to frequently experience temporary paresthesia. Your own habits — rather than a medical condition — are likely causing the problem. Discipline yourself to sit with your feet on the floor, or to sleep in a more nerve-friendly position, perhaps using body pillows.
In addition, consider whether bad posture is causing you to slump into these nerve-compromising positions. If so, a physical therapist can give you tips and specific moves designed to improve posture.
There are times in which pins and needles episodes recur often, but doesn’t have a serious underlying cause. Pregnancy, or a temporary job with specific chores, are two examples of situations that can cause sporadic pins and needles. That means that they’re more frequent than people normally experience, yet not part of a chronic condition.
Working with a physical therapist can help you ease these temporarily pinched nerves. An assessment by a physical therapist can also determine whether a splint or brace might reduce the frequency of pins and needles. Additionally, you’ll learn ways to sit, walk or sleep during daily tasks that will take pressure off the nerves.
When injuries such as serious burns, certain chronic diseases or surgical complications occur, nerve damage is common. One of the potential consequences of this damage is chronic paresthesia, meaning frequent bouts of pins and needles that don’t have a cause such as sitting with your legs crossed.
How can chiropractic or physical therapy care help? First, you’ll receive an assessment regarding whether the underlying condition itself needs treatment, as with a disease such as diabetes. Then, the nerve damage itself can be eased. Specialized moves that “glide” the nerves past one another is one example of chronic pins and needles treatment.
If muscles have been weakened as a result of your primary condition, strength-building exercises will likely be included. Having a strong core means less pressure on the nerves that can cause pins and needles.
If you suspect that there’s a reason you’ve been feeling pins and needles more often than usual, contact us. We can help you work out a program that will make that irritating numbness and tingling a thing of the past!