Parethesia: Causes, Treatment, and More


If you’ve ever felt as though your skin was crawling, or had numbness or itching for no obvious factor, you might have experienced paresthesia. Nearly everybody has experienced paresthesia on occasion. One of the most typical times people get that familiar sensation of pins and needles is when their arms or legs “fall asleep.” This experience normally occurs because you’ve inadvertently put pressure on a nerve. It solves when you alter your position to remove the pressure from the affected nerve. This type of paresthesia is temporary and typically resolves without treatment. If the paresthesia persists, you may have a hidden medical disorder that needs treatment.

What Are The Symptoms of Paresthesia?

Paresthesia can impact any part of the body, however it frequently affects the:

  • hands
  • arms
  • legs
  • feet

It can be temporary or chronic. The signs can include sensations of:

  • numbness
  • weakness
  • tingling
  • burning
  • cold

Chronic paresthesia might trigger a stabbing pain. That may result in clumsiness of the affected limb. When paresthesia occurs in your legs and feet, it can make it challenging to walk.

See your doctor if you have symptoms of paresthesia that continue or impact with your lifestyle. It could be a sign that you have an underlying medical condition that needs treatment.

What Causes Paresthesia?

It’s not always possible to figure out the cause of paresthesia. Temporary paresthesia is frequently due to pressure on a nerve or brief periods of poor flow. This can happen when you fall asleep on your hand or sit with your legs crossed for too long. Chronic paresthesia may suggest nerve damage. Two kinds of nerve damage are radiculopathy and neuropathy.


Radiculopathy is a condition in which nerve roots become compressed, irritated, or irritated. This can happen when you have:

  • a herniated disk that presses on a nerve
  • a narrowing of the canal that transfers the nerve from your spinal cord to your extremity
  • any mass that compresses the nerve as it exits the spine

Radiculopathy that affects your lower back is called lumbar radiculopathy. Lumbar radiculopathy can trigger paresthesia in your leg or foot. In more extreme cases, compression of the sciatic nerve can occur and may result in weakness in your legs. The sciatic nerve is a big nerve that starts in your lower spinal cord.

Cervical radiculopathy includes the nerves that offer sensation and strength to your arms. If you have cervical radiculopathy, you may experience:

  • chronic neck pain
  • paresthesia of the upper extremities
  • arm weakness
  • hand weakness


Neuropathy takes place due to chronic nerve damage. The most typical cause of neuropathy is hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.

Other possible reasons for neuropathy consist of:

  • injury
  • repetitive movement injuries
  • autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • neurological illness, such as MS.
  • kidney diseases.
  • liver diseases.
  • stroke.
  • tumors in the brain or near nerves.
  • bone marrow or connective tissue conditions.
  • hypothyroidism.
  • shortages in vitamin B-1, B-6, B-12, E, or niacin.
  • getting excessive vitamin D.
  • infections, such as Lyme illness, shingles, or HIV.
  • particular medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.
  • direct exposure to harmful compounds, such as chemicals or heavy metals.

Nerve damage can eventually cause long-term numbness or paralysis.

Who Is At Risk For Paresthesia?

Anybody can experience temporary paresthesia. Your risk of radiculopathy increases with age. You also might be more vulnerable to it if you:

  • carry out recurring movements that repeatedly compress your nerves, such as typing, playing an instrument, or playing a sport such as tennis.
  • beverage greatly and consume a poor diet that causes vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamin B-12 and folate.
  • have type 1 or 2 diabetes.
  • have an autoimmune condition.
  • have a neurological condition, such as MS.

How Is Paresthesia Diagnosed?

See your doctor if you have persistent paresthesia with no apparent cause.

Information verified by the team.

Be prepared to provide your medical history. Point out any activities you take part in that include repetitive movement. You should likewise note any over the counter or prescription medications that you take.

Your doctor will consider your known health conditions to help them make a diagnosis. If you have diabetes, for example, your doctor will want to figure out if you have nerve damage, or neuropathy.

Your doctor will most likely carry out a complete physical exam. This will likely include a neurological exam as well. Blood work and other laboratory tests, such as a back tap, may help them dismiss certain illness.

If your doctor thinks there’s a problem with your neck or spinal column, they might advise imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans.

Depending on the outcomes, they might refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, orthopedist, or endocrinologist.

What Is The Treatment For Paresthesia?

Treatment depends on the cause of your paresthesia. It may be possible to treat your condition by eliminating the cause in some cases. For instance, if you have a recurring movement injury, a few lifestyle modifications or physical therapy may fix the problem.

If your paresthesia is because of an underlying disease, getting treatment for that disease can potentially alleviate the signs of paresthesia.

Your individual scenarios will identify whether your symptoms will improve. Some kinds of nerve damage are irreversible.

What Is The Outlook For People With Paresthesia?

Temporary paresthesia generally deals with within a few minutes.

You may have a case of chronic paresthesia if those weird sensations don’t go away or they return far frequently. It can complicate your daily life if the signs are severe. That’s why it’s so essential to try to find the cause. Do not be reluctant to look for a second opinion or see a specialist if required.

The intensity of chronic paresthesia and how long it will last mainly depends upon the cause. In some cases, dealing with the underlying condition fixes the problem.

Be sure to tell your doctor if your treatment isn’t working so they can adjust your treatment strategy.

How Can You Prevent Paresthesia?

Paresthesia isn’t constantly preventable. For example, you probably can’t assist it if you tend to fall asleep on your arms. You can take actions to decrease the incident or severity of paresthesia, however. For example, using wrist splints at night might alleviate the compression of the nerves of your hand and aid deal with the signs of paresthesia you experience at night.

Follow these tips for avoiding chronic paresthesia:

  • Prevent repetitive movement if possible.
  • Rest typically if you need to perform recurring movements.
  • Get up and move around as frequently as possible if you need to sit for long periods.

If you have diabetes or any other chronic disease, careful monitoring and disease management will assist reduce your possibilities of having paresthesia.

Ali Gadimov
Health Recovery Tips