Should I Worry About Feeling Pins and Needles?

The Short Answer from a neuromuscular specialist
Should I Worry About Feeling Pins and Needles?

Q: I sometimes feel pins and needles — should I be concerned?

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A: Occasional or fleeting pins-and-needles sensations are seldom cause for concern. These can occur when a limb “falls asleep” after resting on it too long.

However, constant pins-and-needles sensations in one limb, in both feet or in both hands may signal a neurological problem. Possible causes include a pinched nerve in the limb, in the neck or in the back. The symptoms may be associated with other neurological problems, like weakness.

When symptoms are constant in both feet, it raises concern for peripheral neuropathy. There are many potential causes for peripheral neuropathy, including diabetes.

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—Neuromuscular specialist Kerry Levin, MD

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