It occurs to the most effective of us: you spend too lengthy sitting in the identical place, maybe with a foot tucked underneath your leg at your desk, or asleep in mattress together with your arm bent at an odd angle beneath your head, and instantly it feels just like the limb in query is being pricked 1000’s of instances. This “pins and needles” impact, as it’s colloquially referred to as, or your limb “falling asleep”, is clinically known as “paresthesia”.
The phrase, derived from the Greek roots para (“beside”, i.e. irregular) and aisthesia (“sensation”), is a broad time period used to explain any irregular sensation within the pores and skin. The most typical instance is the aforementioned “pins and needles” tingling we expertise after we pinch a nerve by sitting in a approach that places stress on our legs or sleeping/laying in a approach that places stress on our arms, however is completely innocent. As soon as your physique sends the sign that issues are amiss and also you rearrange your physique to alleviate stress on the nerve, all the things returns to regular shortly thereafter (as soon as we’ve endured, in fact, the “pins and needles” impact).
Much less widespread types of paresthesia embody a burning sensation on an individual’s pores and skin and, in excessive and unsightly instances, “formication”, the feeling that bugs are crawling underneath your pores and skin. For most individuals, nonetheless, the expertise is proscribed to the “pins and needles” selection, and it is extremely transient.
If, nonetheless, you end up experiencing any type of paresthesia with no clear bodily set off (reminiscent of sitting cross legged for a very long time or sleeping together with your arm underneath your head), it might be smart to hunt medical consideration. Widespread causes of paresthesia not triggered by bodily stress on the nerves embody problems which trigger poor circulation (reminiscent of peripheral vascular illness), vitamin deficiency and malnutrition, varied types of poisoning (reminiscent of mercury and lidocaine poisoning), hyper and hypoglycemia, and hypothyroidism, amongst different medical issues.