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John asked...

I have constant pins and needles in my right hand and have had so for months now...

I have constant pins and needles in my right hand and have had so for months now. I can only get it to go by raising my right hand over my shoulder. What would cause this?

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The answer

First of all thank you for your question and we're sorry you’ve been experiencing this. The pins and needles sensation can sometimes be perceived as a funny feeling but there’s nothing “funny” about it when it happens frequently.

These symptoms are related to the nerves that are all over our body. They need a constant flow of blood to be able to operate and depriving them of this leads to the feeling of pins and needles. Due to this it’s not that simple to diagnose what the cause might be. It could be that there’s a trapped nerve. Or perhaps the peripheral circulation of blood is affected.

The best way to figure this out is to visit your GP so that he can perform a series of exercises to identify the probable causes. Pins and Needles are not usually dangerous but, there are some signs to look out for such as:

  • Loss of function on arm, unable to move it.
  • If the pins and needles do not improve after some minutes even with raising your hand.
  • If the pins and needles extend through to other parts of the body and become widespread.

If these happen you should try and contact a medical professional, either through visiting A&E or calling NHS111/999.

Raising your hand above your shoulder effectively relieves some pressure that might be causing your symptoms. Once again, your GP will be able to help figure out the cause.

You can find further information regarding pins and needles in the following web page:

Pins and needles - NHS

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses