Feeling pins and needles in your hands can make it difficult to accomplish a number of tasks. Not only is it distracting and sometimes painful, but it can make it difficult to use your hands. There are a number of causes for this condition, but there are luckily also a number of ways to manage the problem.
A lack of estrogen is a leading cause of pins and needles in hands among women who are experiencing menopause. Because estrogen is so important to the body in so many ways, it can affect a number of different systems in the body when the levels drop. The most common type of hormonal imbalance associated with menopause is a lack of estrogen, so menopause and tingling extremities often go together.
While menopause is a common explanation for this sensation, there are a number of other reasons why you may be experiencing pins and needles in your hands. Some of the most likely explanations are:
Medications side effects
There are many medications that may cause a side effect that is a sensation of tingling, or pins and needles, in different parts of the body. Hands are commonly affected by this type of side effect because extremities are most often the ones to experience these sensations. The most common types of drugs to cause this sensation are those that affect the heart or blood pressure, autoimmune medications, and cancer medications, including radiation therapy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome has been becoming better known, as well as more commonly diagnosed, in recent years. It commonly occurs due to the position of people sitting for long periods of time at a computer, which has become routine for most people who work in office jobs. It is a condition in which a nerve on the inside of your wrist becomes damaged due to certain repetitive motions, like typing or using a computer mouse.
Nerve damage such as peripheral neuropathy is a common cause for any odd sensation, such as pins and needles, in the body. This may be caused by an underlying health condition, such as an infection, a tumor, or heavy lead poisoning, but also may be due to physical pressure on a nerve.
When to See a Doctor
If the tingling persists despite lifestyle changes, you should ask your doctor about the symptoms. Additionally, it is important to see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following in addition to pins and needles:
- Sudden headache
- Head or neck injury
- Loss of conscious
- Difficulty walking
- Vision problems
Some pins and needle sensations can be ameliorated just by a few lifestyle changes, like increasing the amount that you exercise, drinking more water, and getting enough sleep. When numbness and tingling of the hands and feet strikes, suspend all activities related to the attack and correct your posture.
If the problem is medication, you should consult a doctor in order to consider changing you prescription. It may be that you cannot change the medication, in which case lifestyle changes are most likely to be of help to you.
Although pins and needles in hands can often be an uncomfortable sensation, knowing these reasons for the issue may help you to manage the problem. Learn more about managing it with things to do at home to avoid tingling extremities.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. (n.d.).Introduction to Menopause. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/gynecological_health/introduction_to_menopause_85,P01535/
- Mayo Clinic. (2016). Numbness in hands. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/numbness-in-hands/basics/definition/sym-20050842
- Medline Plus. (2015). Numbness and tingling. Numbness and tingling. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003206.htm
- Medline Plus. (2016). Peripheral neuropathy. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000593.htm