Pins and needles (paraesthesia) is a pricking, burning, tingling or numbing sensation that’s usually felt in the arms, legs, hands or feet.
It doesn’t usually cause any pain, but it can cause numbness or itching.
Pins and needlesis usually temporary, but can sometimes be long-lasting (chronic).
Temporary pins and needles
Most people have temporary pins and needles from time to time.
It happens when pressure is applied to a part of the body, which cuts off the blood supply to the nerves in that area. This prevents the nerves from sending important signals to the brain.
Putting weight on a body part (for example, by kneeling) or wearing tight shoes or socks can potentially cause pins and needles.
Temporary pins and needles can be eased by simply taking the pressure off the affected area. This allows your blood supply to return, relieving the numbness or tingling sensation.
Other common reasons for temporary pins and needles include:
a condition known as Raynaud’s disease – which affects the blood supply to certain areas of the body, such as the fingers and toes, and is usually triggered by cold temperatures or sometimes anxiety or stress
hyperventilating (breathing too quickly)