My three year old got up from kneeling the other day and started to wiggle and jiggle a little, when I asked him if he was OK he said……”Mummy, I’ve got sparkly toes!” That has to be the cutest description of pins and needles I have ever heard. He looked at me a little confused and wanted to know why his toes were sparkling… I gave him a simple explanation but even as I was talking… I could feel a blog coming on!
So what are pins and needles and why do we get them?Parasthesia is the medical term for pins and needles. The pins and needles that most of us experience, just as my son did, are a result of pressure on a nerve, restricting its blood supply. This pressure is usually a temporary pressure caused by us leaning on a limb or part of the body in an awkward way. This pressure on the nerve restricts its supply of blood and therefore prevents it from “charging up” and “firing off” in the usual manner. The signalling pathway gets interrupted resulting in the nerve firing off incorrectly or at a modified rate… and we feel this as a fuzzy, tingling, spiking sensation. If the nerve is suppressed for too long its signalling function stops all together and the area becomes numb. These sensations can usually be quickly and easily reversed by simply changing position and moving the area that is affected, thereby returning blood supply to the nerves.
A closer look
So now we have a general understanding we need to know how nerves operate to explain