What Causes Pins and Needles?

Article by John Miller

pins and needles

image source: http://www.scienceworld.ca/

Pins and Needles - Paraesthesia

The most common cause of "pins and needles" is a moderately pinched nerve. Pins and needles is referred to as "paraesthesia" in the medical community.  

Did you know that feeling "pins and needles" can actually be a worse sign than having pain in your arm or leg. This is because the nerve is squashed so much that you can't even feel pain anymore.

Even worse than "pins and needles" is "numbness" or "anaesthesia", which is a total lack of sensation. You will experience anaesthesia when there is severe nerve compression. 

Anaesthesia or numbness that persists for more than a few hours can be sign of permanent nerve compression. We urge you to seek prompt medical attention to prevent the nerve from permanent damage and the muscles it innervates to drastically weaken.

The good news is that the majority of pinched nerves and nerve compressions are only transient and can be quickly reversed with early treatment. However, neglect can lead to permanent nerve compression injuries, which may never recover.

Common Causes of Pinched Nerves

The most common forms of nerve compression are in the spinal joints where either a disc bulge or a bony arthritic spur can irritate and compress the nerve. Compressions can also occur as the nerve passes through or around muscles. Your physiotherapist will know where to look. Some common pinched nerve conditions include:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Back Muscle Pain
  • Bulging Disc
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Facet Joint Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraine
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Arm Pain
  • Neck Headache
  • Neck Sprain
  • Pinched Nerve
  • RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Scoliosis
  • Shoulder Tendinopathy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolysis (Back Stress Fracture)
  • Spondylosis (Spine Arthritis)
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Text Neck
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Whiplash
  • Wry Neck
  • How Can You Fix "Pins and Needles"?

    If you know of someone who is experiencing chronic or permanent "pins and needles", "numbness" or "muscle weakness", please encourage them to seek urgent professional advice.

    The secret to quick success is the correct diagnosis. A highly trained health practitioner such as your physiotherapist or doctor is your best port of call.

    FAQs about Pins and Needles

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • Massage Styles and their Benefits
  • Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
  • Headache or Migraine... What to do?
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • How to Achieve the Best Standing Posture
  • How to Minimise or Prevent Whiplash
  • Migraine? Free Online Test
  • Tension-Type Headache? Free Online Test
  • What are the Benefits of Good Posture?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What are the Healthiest Sleeping Postures?
  • What are the Signs of an Unsupportive Pillow?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Good Standing Posture?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What is the Correct Way to Sit?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • Call PhysioWorks

    Book Online


    Go Back

    Share this page

    Last updated 17-Mar-2019 01:35 PM

    Receive Special Offers and the Latest Injury Information

    Enter Details Below to Signup:



    Receive Special Offers and the Latest Injury Information

    Enter Details Below to Signup:



    PhysioWorks does not endorse companies or products who choose to advertise on this website. Advertising revenue supports the free access to our educational content and its updates. Check out the links below for more specific health information from your trusted PhysioWorks team.

    Share this page