At one point or another, everybody has experienced the sensation.  That vaguely uncomfortable “pins and needles” feeling that surges through some part of our bodies.

The question then, is it anything to be concerned about?

The short answer is, it depends, But that’s not terribly helpful, so let’s go into a bit more detail.

That sensation you sometimes feel is called paresthesia.  What’s happening when you feel it is that the flow of blood has been cut off to the nerve.  No blood, and it can’t send signals properly.  Then, when the flow of blood is restored, the nerve starts “waking up” which results in that less than pleasant sensation.

Sometimes, paresthesia is caused by mundane conditions.  Something as simple as sitting in the same position for too long can cause it.  If you suffer from a mobility issue, for example, if you’re in a wheelchair, then you probably feel the sensation on a fairly regular basis.

The good news is, in those cases, no, it’s nothing really to worry about.  You should be mindful of it, of course, and take the message that your body is sending you to heart.  Be sure not to spend excessive amounts of time in the same position and it will go away.

Other times, however, it really can be the sign of some serious problem. You could have a nutritional deficiency such as anemia or B12 deficiency. Or, if you’ve suffered some type of nerve, spine, or brain injury, you can also experience paresthesia.  In these cases, it’s not something that just comes and goes.  It lingers, giving you a constant reminder that there’s a problem.  It’s your body’s way of trying to get your attention.

With those things in mind, if you’re only feeling the effects of paresthesia on an occasional basis and it goes away pretty quickly, it’s nothing to worry about.  If not, be sure to seek the help of a professional right away to get to the bottom of it.