Pins and needles in the feet – what is medically known as paresthesia – is usually not a serious condition. It’s often caused by reduced blood circulation or compressed nerves. There are several things you can do to quickly remedy it.
However, if you keep experiencing the tingling sensation in your feet, it could be chronic paresthesia. This is a more serious condition. It could be an indication of an underlying health problem such as diabetes, traumatic nerve damage, a neurological disorder or nutritional deficiency.
If you think you have chronic paresthesia, seek medical help immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s also a good idea to see a doctor if the pins and needles sensation is accompanied by other symptoms such as prolonged numbness, pain, trembling, fast breathing and reddening of your feet or hands.
How to get rid of pins and needles in feet
These tips only apply if you experience temporary pins and needles.
1. Change your position
Pins and needles occur when there is too much pressure on one of your legs which reduces the amount of blood reaching your feet. For instance when you cross your legs, the upper leg has its blood vessels compressed and soon starts tingling.
Changing your position is usually enough to relieve the pressure and get rid of the pins and needles. Try uncrossing your legs or stretching them out in front of you.
2. Move around
In addition to shifting your sitting position, you can also try standing up and moving around. This decompresses any pressed nerves and boosts blood circulation to your feet.
Simply standing up where you are gets rid of the tingling faster because blood circulation will be assisted by gravity. A brisk short walk is even better. If that’s not possible, try some leg stretching exercises.
3. Try a warm foot bath
Too much muscle tension in your feet can also cause temporary paresthesia. A warm water bath is great for relaxing your muscles. It will also increase blood circulation to your feet and legs.
Add Epsom salt to the bath; it helps with muscle relaxation.
If you have a foot spa at home, it’s even better. You can combine a nice warm foot bath with roller or vibration massage. Use it every time your feet feel tired, sore or tingly.
4. Get a foot massage
If you can’t get a foot bath, a foot massager will do. It essentially does the same thing as a warm bath. It relaxes tense muscles and increases blood circulation.
You can use your hands to knead your feet (or have someone do it for you) or use a foot massager. These are compact devices on which you place your feet. They send harmless electrical pulses through your feet to your nerves and muscles.
Many foot massagers (e.g. Beurer FM60) also come with extra massage functions such as vibration and heat.
5. Wear proper-fitting shoes
Wearing ill-fitting shoes can also cause pins and needles. And if you keep wearing them they could lead to even more serious nerve problems.
The solution to this is easy and obvious; don’t wear tight shoes especially to places like the office where you are going to have them on for hours.
When buying shoes, check that there is enough room for your toes, midsection and heel. Don’t assume that the slight tightness you are feeling will go away; make sure they fit perfectly right from the start.
Check that there is enough cushioning and heel support. If you are wearing heels, make sure they are not forcing your feet into a strained position that could pinch nerves or reduce blood supply.
Needles and Pins in other parts of the body
The same tips generally apply when you are experiencing pains and needles in other parts of the body such as your arms or thighs.
If it’s in your arms moving your head around usually does the trick. This is because a tingly arm is often caused by compressed nerves in your neck.
Generally, movement is the best solution to temporary pins and needles. Take a walk, do some yoga, stretch your feet, jump around and so on.
Various types of therapies such as vibration massage, hot water therapy and deep tissue massage are also highly effective at releasing nerve pressure and boosting blood circulation.
Disclaimer: Pedi Reviews does not provide medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.