On Pins and Needles

Have you ever sat in an uncomfortable position, then shifted and had an uncomfortable tingling sensation in one of your limbs? Everyone has, but you may not have thought about why that sensation occurs.

If you change position and the pressure is removed, there’s no harm, no foul. But when a change of position doesn’t do anything, it means you might want to speak with a professional. Persistent pins and needles are a sign of a deeper problem in the body.

The feeling of pins and needles is referred to as paresthesia. Though typically harmless, there are some forms that indicate a serious issue. The features of paresthesia include:

  • Prickling or tingling
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Itching

Most commonly, paresthesia is felt in the hands, arms, legs or feet.

When It Becomes More Serious

When you remove the pressure that causes numbness or tingling, it likely goes away – like if you have your feet tucked under you as you’re sitting, you’ll notice when you get up that you’ve released that nerve pressure.

But if your case is more chronic, there can be different sources, including injury. Whether you’ve had a recent trauma or overuse a certain part of your body, both are a common cause of pins and needles.

If your tingling sensation has lasted for more than just an episode, it’s time to get help. The earlier you get your problem under control, the more likely you are to avoid future health concerns. If you are worried about paresthesia, a Chiropractor’s office is a great place to begin – we are practitioners who work on the nervous system, which as you’ll learn next, is central to the idea of pins and needles.

Why It Happens

The cells in your body make up all your nerves. The nerves receive oxygen and other nutrients thanks to your blood vessels. The body’s nerves interact with the blood vessels to make sure the right amount of blood reaches each organ. So, when nerves or blood vessels are compressed, the nerves can’t transmit information back to the central nervous system as they should. The brain interprets these signals as pins and needles, which is what causes a sensation of tingling or numbness in the body. 

The Other Causes of Paresthesia

There is no one single cause of a sensation of pins and needles. The most common, other than injury, are

  • Diabetes (Type I and Type II)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Low levels of certain vitamins

If you are a diabetic, you’ve probably heard of peripheral neuropathy. People with diabetes may develop tingling and numbness in their feet that will eventually go up their legs. Still others experience this sensation in their hands and arms. Diabetic neuropathy occurs to about 2/3 of people who have diabetes, all ranging from mild to severe and due to nerve damage. In some people, this is the first sign that they have diabetes. 

If you’re experiencing pins and needles that can’t be resolved by a shift of your position, be sure to talk to us to rule out anything more serious. 

 

Your Guide to Shoulder Pain

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend much time considering the incredible complexity of the human body. But it’s important to think about when it comes to pain and injury. The shoulder joint, in particular, is prone to having complex injuries. That’s because the joint is one of our most mobile – which also means there isn’t much stability present. 

That’s why instability or pain in the shoulder is extremely common. You might only feel discomfort when you move your shoulder around, or the pain may be ever-present. To understand how that occurs, it’s important to go through the anatomy of the shoulder.

Your shoulder contains three different bones: the collarbone, the shoulder blade, and the upper arm bone. The upper arm bone goes right into a rounded socked of the shoulder blade. The arm bone is kept in place by a collection of muscles and tendons, which attach the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. 

Common Shoulder-Related Problems

You can experience a broad range of different shoulder injuries, such as:

  • Frozen shoulder. Pain and stiffness in the shoulder are caused by inflammation, which will eventually limit movement. 
  • Osteoarthritis. With aging, the wear-and-tear process can affect the shoulder. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis attacks the joints, which will result in pain and inflammation. 
  • Rotator cuff tears. The muscles or tendons surrounding the top of the humerus can tear, likely as a result of steady overuse or a sudden injury. 
  • Shoulder impingement. The edge of your shoulder blade, when lifted, presses on the rotator cuff. 
  • Dislocation. A bone in the shoulder can slip right out of position. If your shoulder is dislocated, raising your arm will cause you pain. 
  • Tendonitis. The shoulder’s rotator cuff contain tendons. When inflamed, it is referred to as tendonitis.
  • Bursitis. There’s a small sac of fluid that rests over the tendons of the rotator cuff. The signs of bursitis are pain when you lift your arms overhead and pressure on the upper, outer arm. 
  • Labral tear. Overuse or an accident can tear a cuff of cartilage called t