How to prevent pins and needles

S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
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10 August 2017

What causes pins and needles?

Pins and needles are caused by applying pressure to part of the body (for example by kneeling or wearing tight socks and shoes) which cuts off the blood supply to the nerves in that area. They can also be caused by muscle injury or existing health conditions such as Raynaud’s disease, sciatica, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Raynaud’s disease can cause pins and needles because it restricts blood flow to the hands and feet. Sciatica can cause pins and needles in the legs through compression of nerves in the lower back. Those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome can experience the condition as a result of inflammation and of the main nerve which can cause pins and needles as well as pain and weakness in the hand.

How to prevent pins and needles

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Change your seated position regularly

Mostly, pins and needles are caused by leaning awkwardly on your arm or leg and usually the effects disappear once normal posture is restored. Maintaining good posture will help to prevent pins and needles from happening.

Rock your head from side to side

Pins and needles in your hands is thought to be caused by compression of nerves in your neck, moving your head gently helps to release this compression and allow the blood to flow freely to your hands.


Pins and needles are caused by reduced blood flow to an area, so improving your circulation is one of the ways you can prevent them. One of the easiest ways to improve your circulation is through any form of exercise – whether it be running, walking, cycling, or swimming , it will help to improve your circulation. Check out our blog for 8 natural ways you can boost your blood circulation.

When pins and needles could be something more

Pins and needles are most commonly found in people who have back pain; however, persistent pins and needles can be a sign of an underlying health condition such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases. If your pins and needles persist over a long period of time or start to spread to other areas of the body get in touch with a doctor to help rule out any underlying health conditions.

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