Pins and needles is a well-known and often uncomfortable sensation that many people experience. It can be hard to figure out what exactly is causing the problem, and so it can be hard to fix. However, if you want to know more, read on to find out about this condition.
Recognizing Pins and Needles in Legs
Pins and needles describes a tingling, prickling sort of sensation in the foot that is usually not directly painful, but is often very uncomfortable and distracting. The technical term for pins and needles is paresthesia. This can occur in many parts of the body, but it happens more commonly in the extremities and it is especially likely to have pins and needles in legs or feet. The sensation often seems to be on the skin of the affected area, but it can feel as though it is happening deeper inside the body as well.
Hormonal Influence on Pins and Needles
Few people realize the direct influence that hormones can have on the emergence of pins and needles in feet or in legs. The hormone estrogen is important for many different processes in the body, and when the levels of this hormone begin to change, it can cause a number of problems. Low levels of estrogen, such as the low estrogen levels that are characteristic of menopause, can cause the body to experience pins and needles or a tingling sensation in extremities.
Other Causes of Pins and Needles
Another potential cause is complications from diabetes. If blood sugar is not regulated properly, it can begin to have serious repercussions on different part of the body. It is common to begin to have damage in the feet, and to experience pins and needles in the feet as a result of uncontrolled diabetes.
Nerve damage or a pinched nerve may also result in this sensation. A nerve can be compressed or damaged in several parts of the body and still create a sensation in the feet and legs because of the massive interconnected network of nerves. In fact, it is most common for pins and needles in legs or in feet to have been cause by a problem with nerves in the neck or back.
Certain medications have side effects that can cause tingling in different parts of the body. It is especially common to experience this with medications that affect the heart, blood pressure, or immune system. Cancer treatments, including radiation therapy, can also cause pins and needles in feet.
Managing Pins and Needles in Legs
In mild cases of pins and needles, you may not need to call a doctor. Massage, exercise, and other healthy habits can help to remedy the problem of tingling in your feet and legs by improving the blood flow and keeping your body healthy.
However, for anybody with diabetes or experiencing severe problems due to pins and needles in feet and legs, a doctor's advice should be sought to help manage the problem. A doctor can consult with you about possibly changing a medication or finding one that can fix an underlying cause.
Always call a doctor if you begin to feel tingling after a head injury or if you have symptoms of a stroke, such as slurred speech or paralysis.
While pins and needles are a frustrating feeling, knowledge about the problem and its causes can help you figure out how to stop it. If you also feel pain, read about pain and tingling in legs, feet, or hands.