If you experience pins and needles only when you’re walking, it could be caused by pressure on your foot.
This is temporary pins and needles, which occurs when pressure cuts the blood supply to your nerves and stops them communicating with your brain.
It could be that your shoes are too tight or are pressing on your nerves. It might also be the way you walk. You should be able to solve this by checking your shoes and gait (the way you walk) for any pressure spots. Insoles may also help to relieve your symptoms. You can get a gait assessment from a physiotherapist and some fitness gyms may also provide an assessment of walking or running.
Temporary pins and needles can also be caused by Raynaud’s syndrome. This is where your blood vessels go into spasm and stop the blood supply. This usually happens when you're cold or stressed, and can last anything from a few minutes to a few hours.
If the pins and needles in your feet are continuous – i.e. happen all the time, not just when you walk – or return regularly, go to see your GP as it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Long-lasting pins and needles in your feet can be a sign of a number of other conditions related to circulation or the nervous system, such as:
Other potential causes of pins and needles include malnutrition, alcohol abuse, exposure to toxic substances, or an injury or infection that damages your nerves. Having a stroke can also affect your nervous system
Treatment for permanent pins and needs will depend on the cause.
We suggest you see your GP for an assessment.
Answered by the Health at Hand nurses
Pins and needles - NHS factsheet
Raynaud's phenomenon - NHS factsheet
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