Pins and Needles in Hands:15 Causes with Treatment

Pins and needles in the hands are sensations of pain and numbness that can occur when pressure is applied to the nerves in the hands. It is also known as paraesthesia and is commonly caused by sitting in one position for a long period of time or due to repetitive motions such as typing. It can also be caused by nerve injury or irritation, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

In most cases, this is temporary and harmless. However, In some other cases, it can be severe and chronic, denoting a more serious condition. This article will discuss 15 potential causes of pins and needles sensation in your hands or feet. This may help you identify the underlying causes.

Causes of Pins and Needles in Hands or Feet
Causes of Pins and Needles in Hands or Feet

What are Pins and Needles in Hands

The feeling of Pins and Needles in Hands or Feet is medically known as paraesthesia. It happens when the nerves in an area of the body are compressed or damaged, so they can’t send signals properly.

The symptoms of pins and needles in hands or feet include a burning or prickling sensation, numbness, and weakness. These sensations can last for several minutes or can persist for a few hours. It can be painful, uncomfortable, and even debilitating.

This condition can be caused by a variety of things. Sitting or lying in one position for too long can cut off the blood flow to a nerve, resulting in the feeling of Pins and Needles in the Hands or Feet. It can also be caused by various conditions, such as poor circulation, nerve damage, or a lack of vitamin B12.

15 Common Causes of Pins and Needles in Hands

1. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of pins and needles in the fingers. This condition happens when the blood has excessive glucose. This will cause peripheral neuropathy, which is a complication that occurs in diabetes.

This condition may damage the small blood vessels and nerves in the hands and feet when nerves in the feet or hands can not be supplied with essential nutrients and blood.

The feeling of pain or numbness, pins, and needles will occur in the fingers and toes. Sometimes, the tingling feeling starting from the hand will move up towards the arms.

The study found two-thirds of all people with diabetes suffer from some form of neuropathy. When the condition is serious, the patient may feel anything in their hands and feet. This is dangerous, as you may drop things or stumble. Sometimes you may not realize when you are touching something hot.

2. Injury

Some injuries, like a fractured bone, can damage nerve endings in fingers or toes, resulting in tingling of extremities. Nerve damage may occur in some people who often use vibrating tools.

3. Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition. It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans, especially the elderly, suffer from peripheral neuropathy. This condition can affect nerves distant from the brain and spinal cord, like hands and feet. Over time, it can lead to a loss of mobility and even disability.

4. Trapped Nerves

Trapped Nerves
What are Trapped Nerves

Trapped Nerves caused by a slipped disc or trapped nerve in the neck can cause numbness, pins, or needles in fingers. This feeling can also appear from your neck, down your arms, and feet.

Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to the condition of a trapped nerve at the wrist. This is one of the most conditions that affect the upper limb. Carpal tunnel syndrome will lead to irritation, pain, pins and needles in the hand, and loss of grip.

5. Diseases that damage nerves

Some diseases can damage the nervous system in the body. This will cause numbness, pins, needles, and tingling sensations in the hands.

These diseases include liver conditions, hypothyroidism, kidney disorders, blood diseases, connective tissue conditions, hormonal imbalances, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors. However, these severe diseases occur less frequently and are often accompanied by other symptoms.

6. Vitamin deficiency

Nerves in the body require a certain amount of nutrients to work properly. Vitamin deficiency can cause anemia, damage nerve, and leads to paresthesia.

Niacin and Vitamins B6, B12, E, and B1 are essential for your nerve health. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to anemia and nerve damage, an important cause of peripheral neuropathy. This condition is common among vegans, older people, and people with pernicious anemia. However, too much B6 is also not good, as it can cause tingling in the hands and feet.

7. Alcoholism

Avoid Alcohol
Avoid Alcohol

People who abuse alcohol regularly are more likely to have poor dietary habits and vitamin deficiencies. Too little vitamin E and B vitamins (such as B12) can cause anemia, which can cause peripheral neuropathy.

This will lead to peripheral neuropathy that can cause tingling in the hands and feet. In addition, long-term alcohol misuse can lead to high levels of alcohol in the bloodstream and alcoholism. This condition can also damage the nerves in the body.

8. Medication use

Some medicines may damage nerves and cause a tingling sensation in your hands or feet. This is usually a side effect of drugs that treat HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and lymphoma.

Some other medications that may cause tingling in the hands and feet include anticonvulsants, anti-infection drugs, and heart or blood pressure drugs.

Ensure to consult a doctor before taking these medicines, such as amiodarone, hydralazine, metronidazole, dapsone, metronidazole, and dapsone.

9. Toxins


Some toxins and chemicals, such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and thallium, harm your nervous system. Exposure to these toxins can lead to tingling in your hands or feet.

Some common industrial and environmental chemicals include heavy metals, acrylamide, ethylene glycol, and hexacarbonyl.

10. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This condition occurs when your immune system attacks your body’s cells instead of foreign invaders by mistake. Rheumatoid arthritis often occurs in the wrists, hands, ankles, and feet. The inflammation can damage the nerves and lead to tingling in the joints.

11. Cervical spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis usually occurs when age-related wear affects the spinal disks in your neck. This may pressure the spinal cord and lead to tingling or numbness in your arms and legs. Cervical spondylosis is so common that more than 60% of people over 60 will be affected by cervical spondylosis.

12. Pinched nerve

Pinched Nerve in the Neck
Pinched Nerve in the Neck

A pinched nerve occurs when there’s too much pressure on a nerve from the surrounding tissues, such as muscles, tendons, bones, or cartilage. Some conditions like inflammation, injury, and repetitive movements are the most common causes of a pinched nerve.

This pressure will affect the nerve’s function and cause tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain in your body. These sensations may also radiate down your leg and into your foot when a pinched nerve occurs in your lower spine. Likewise, you may feel pain and numbness in your hands when a pinched nerve occurs in your wrist.

13. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist at the carpal tunnel. Repetitive motions, injury, or inflammatory conditions are the common causes.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and pins and needles in the fingers. You may feel numbness and tingling in the first four fingers of your hand.

Sometimes, you can also suffer from the symptoms in the forearm or arm. Pain, numbness, and tingling usually come on gradually over a period of weeks.

14. Pregnancy

Many pregnant women suffer from numbness in their hands and feet during pregnancy. This is caused by the gradual enlargement of the fetus or the swelling of the maternal body pressing the nerves. These symptoms usually disappear automatically after birth.

15. Infections

An infection occurs when another organism invades your body and causes disease. Types of infection include fungal, viral, protozoan, bacterial, and parasitic.

  • Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. This condition is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  The infection can affect the nervous system and lead to your hands and feet tingling.

  • Shingles

Shingle is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. This condition can cause a painful rash, tingling, or numbness in the affected area. Although shingles can occur anywhere, it usually affects a small part of one side of your body, such as your hands, arms, legs, and feet.

  • Hepatitis B and C

Hepatitis B and C are caused by viruses that can progress to a “chronic” or lifelong infection. This will lead to liver inflammation, cirrhosis, or even liver cancer. In addition, an infection may also cause other health problems, such as peripheral neuropathy. This will result in numbness and tingling in your hands or feet.

  •  AIDS or HIV

AIDS or HIV is a chronic, life-threatening disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV can damage your immune system and nervous system. This will cause tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of acquiring cancer.

  • Leprosy

Leprosy, also called Hansen disease, is a bacterial infection caused by the leprosy bacillus. This condition can affect the peripheral nerves, skin, respiratory tract, and mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and eyes. When the infection damages the skin’s peripheral nervous system, you can feel a tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.

Other Possible Causes of Pins and Needles in Fingers or Feet

There are other possible causes of Pins and Needles in hands or feet.

  • Pregnancy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Celiac disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Vasculitis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)

How to Relieve Pins and Needles in Hands

1. Avoid staying in one position for too long

Sitting or standing in the same position over a long period can cause the nerves in your hands to become compressed, leading to pins and needles. Take regular daily breaks and move around to encourage blood flow and reduce nerve compression.

2. Soak your hands

Taking a warm bath or soaking your hands in warm water can help reduce inflammation and improve circulation. It is also a great way to relax and reduce stress, which can also be a factor in pins and needles.

3. Exercise your hands

Gentle hand and wrist exercises can help to reduce pins and needles in your hands by encouraging blood flow and improving flexibility. Try squeezing a ball, stretching your fingers, or rotating your wrists to get the blood flowing.

4. Stretch your arms and shoulders

Pins and needles in your hands can be caused by tightness in your arms and shoulders. Taking a few minutes each day to stretch your arms, shoulders, and neck can help reduce nerve compression and improve circulation in your hands.

5. Massage your hands

Massaging your hands can help to reduce tightness and improve circulation. Try using a tennis ball or foam roller to massage your palms and the area around your fingers.

6. Get a professional massage

Getting a professional massage can help to reduce tightness and improve circulation in your hands. It can also help to reduce stress, which can be a contributing factor to pins and needles.

7. Apply heat or cold

Applying heat or cold to your hands can help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Try using a hot or cold compress for 15-20 minutes at a time.

8. Take supplements

Taking supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and magnesium can help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation in your hands.

9. Maintain a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Try to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins in your diet.

10. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep can help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

How to Diagnosis of Pins and Needles in Hands?

If you go to the hospital for an examination, medical experts will take the following measures:

  • Check if you have been exposed to toxins, taken drugs, smoked, or consumed too much alcohol.
  • Check if you have a family history of related diseases and the risk of infectious diseases.
  • Use blood tests to diagnose your liver and kidney function to check whether there is a risk of vitamin deficiency or diabetes.
  • Use nerve conduction velocity test or electromyography to test your nerve function and observe your reflex function.
  • Some other ways include CT (computed tomography), nerve conduction velocity (NCV), electromyography (EMG), and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

When to See Your Doctor?

If you have occasional tingling sensations on the hands or feet, they disappear automatically within a few minutes. This is usually a temporarily pinched nerve, and it is harmless.

However, Suppose you notice that your pins and needles sensations recur often and the techniques above don’t work. In that case, you’d better seek medical attention as it could be a sign of another condition.

If your condition worsens, you lose feeling or power in a part of your body, have unexplained falls, or experience difficulty walking. You must see a medical professional as soon as possible.

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