What causes tingling and pins and needles in arms?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Tingling and pins and needles in the arms can be caused by various factors. One common cause is pressure on a specific part of the arm, which leads to compression of nerves. This can occur when you sleep in an awkward position or sit or lie in a way that puts excessive pressure on a certain area of your arm. For example, if you sleep with your arm under your head or body, you may wake up with tingling or pins and needles in your arm.

When pressure is applied to a nerve, it can disrupt the normal flow of signals and cause the sensation of tingling or pins and needles. This pressure can be temporary and usually resolves quickly when you change your position and remove the pressure from the affected area. You may have experienced this sensation when you’ve sat with your legs crossed for an extended period of time and then felt a tingling sensation as you uncrossed them.

In addition to pressure, other factors can contribute to tingling and pins and needles in the arms. Nerve injury or inflammation can also cause these sensations. For example, conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, where the median nerve in the wrist is compressed, can lead to tingling, numbness, and pins and needles in the hand and arm.

Other potential causes include:

1. Peripheral neuropathy: This is a condition in which there is damage to the peripheral nerves, often due to underlying conditions such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or autoimmune diseases. Tingling and pins and needles can occur in the arms as a result.

2. Nerve impingement: When a nerve in the neck or spine becomes compressed or irritated, it can lead to tingling or pins and needles in the arms. This can be caused by conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

3. Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can also cause tingling and pins and needles in the arms. These conditions typically involve damage to the nervous system.

It’s important to note that persistent or recurring tingling and pins and needles may indicate a more serious underlying condition. If you experience these sensations frequently or if they are accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical attention for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Pressure on a specific part of the arm or leg is a common cause of tingling and pins and needles. This is often temporary and resolves when the pressure is relieved. However, persistent or recurring symptoms may be indicative of more serious conditions such as nerve injury or inflammation. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation if you have concerns about these symptoms.