Should I Worry About Pins and Needles?

Blogs, / By Winsen Citra

All of you should be familiar of the sensation called pins and needles. It can be described as an uncomfortable feeling of tingling or ‘ants crawling’ on your skin. What causes it and should you worry about having pins and needles?

What causes pins and needles?

Most commonly, pins and needles is caused by sitting or lying in a fixed position for a prolonged period of time. Usually, this position has to be one that put compression to your nerves or your blood vessels. This results in your nerves having reduced ability to conduct electrical signals from your brain or spinal cord. Once you relieve pressure on those structures by changing your posture, it will quickly resolve.

Pins and needles can also be common if you have been diagnosed with these conditions:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Spinal nerve compression

If you do have these conditions, it is best to have a regular checkup with your doctor to see if medical interventions are necessary.

Should I worry about it?

Most of the time, pins and needles is not dangerous and should pass. In such cases, there is no need to worry. However, there are still instances where you should immediately seek urgent medical help. These are situations when it is accompanied with the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Tremors
  • Fainting
  • Weakness in one side of the body
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction
  • Numbness in your saddle regions
  • Night sweats
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss

All these may point to a more sinister pathology that will require medical attention.

Also, if you have ongoing pins and needles, do seek help from your doctor or physiotherapist.

We hope that htis article has been useful to you. Should you need further clarification or have questions, feel free to contact us. Do check out our instagram page for useful exercises that may help with your pins and needles.

Winsen Citra
Principal Physiotherapist

Winsen graduated from University of Melbourne in 2012. He worked in organisations of various sizes such as Singapore General Hospital, Pain Relief Practice, and Physioclinic before working at Elevate Physiotherapy. He specialises in sports and musculoskeletal injuries and has worked with athletes of various sports such as fencing, dancing, dragon boating, and cycling.

In his spare time he enjoys singing and playing chess.