Auto Injuries: Paresthesia (Pins & Needles)

Similar to Stingers/Burners, Paresthesia is a nerve issue, caused by pressure on the nerves or poor blood circulation. By definition, paresthesia is an abnormal sensation in the body; commonly described as feeling like pins-and-needles, though some describe it as a burning, tingling, numb, or itchy feeling. These feelings often permeate through the extremities but can occur anywhere in the body. If paresthesia goes away after you have reduced pressure on the nerve or improved blood circulation, it is then referred to as transient paresthesia. In contrast, chronic paresthesia doesn’t go away or repeatedly comes back. 

Hyperventilation or anxiety attacks may cause Transient Paresthesia.

Chronic Paresthesia can result from stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, alcohol abuse, brain tumor, high blood pressure, infection, car accidents, contact sports, or prolonged sedentary activities. Other conditions that can worsen paresthesia symptoms include obesity, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic paresthesia is usually a symptom of neurological disease or traumatic nerve damage. Also, severe nerve damage may lead to permanent paresthesia.

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Cold Feeling 
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Muscular Atrophy
Doctor Evaluation

Doctors may perform diagnostic tests such as x-rays, or MRI scans, in order to determine what underlying condition is causing your paresthesia. Your doctor may go over your medical history, conduct a physical exam, order blood work, or perform a neurological exam.


Treatment largely depends on the cause of your paresthesia. If your paresthesia is a side effect from a specific condition, the approach to treatment will be based upon medicating or curing the condition.

Certain medications may lessen Paresthesia symptoms. For instance, you may be prescribed an anti-depressant, or in more severe cases you may be prescribed an opioid. The anti-depressant will be administered in doses that are smaller than those commonly used to treat depression, as they can alter the perception of pain, and therefore, offer a little bit of relief.

 Physical therapy will be used if your paresthesia is resulting from poor circulation. Exercising, stretching, or massaging the affected area will aid in the dissipation of the tingling sensation. Physical therapy will also rebuild the strength of your muscles, which can reduce pressure on the nerves.

 If the previous treatments do not help, surgery may be considered for further treatment. Be sure to seek treatment immediately when experiencing prolonged symptoms to prevent irreversible damage. 


Exercise is the key to prevention. Not only does exercising help you maintain a sustainable weight, but it also builds up your muscles, and increases your flexibility and range of motion. These things coupled together, result in the lessening of unnecessary pressure on the nerves. Similarly, good posture will greatly reduce the pressure put on the tissues of the head and neck.

Are you experiencing symptoms of Paresthesia? If so, we highly recommend having a medical examination by a doctor. Do not ignore your pain or delay your care, pain relief is possible. Call 801-683-1948 to set up a no-cost medical exam or to schedule a free thirty-minute massage. 

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