Pins and needles, known in the clinic as ‘paresthesia’, is a pretty annoying sensation that most of us have experienced. It can make your feet feel tingly, prickly, burning, numb or asleep. Pins and needles happen when pressure restricts blood flow or pinches nerves. The latter can affect how messages are sent to and from the brain. While the sensation is frustrating, it’s a smart way of the body to get you to move your foot and help restore blood flow and nerve signals to the tissues. The occasional bout of pins and needles is okay, but if it’s ongoing then it could point to an underlying health condition:
Neuritis: A condition where your nerves are inflamed. This may be due to alcohol use, physical injury, chemotherapy or infections like shingles, Lyme disease and diphtheria. Auto-immune diseases like Guillain-Barre syndrome can also damage nerves in the body and bring about inflammation.
Sciatica: Pain in regions that are activated by the sciatic nerve – a nerve that starts in the lower spine and migrates down the back of the leg to the foot. The pain is due to nerve compression or irritation.
Diabetes: Issues with how insulin is regulated can damage blood vessels in the toes and lead to numbness.
Lifestyle choices: Where alcohol is abused or vegan diets are adopted (risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency) this can cause nerve damage.
In order to treat ongoing pins and needles, usually the hidden issues need to be addressed. If you are concerned about the numbness, pain or tingly feeling in your feet, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of our friendly and highly skilled podiatrists on (03) 8645 9800 or book online by clicking below: