Tingling: Overview

Tingling is a nerve sensation symptom that can affect various body areas. Common types are tingling toes and tingling fingers, but almost any area can be affected. The medical term for this type of symptom is paresthesia, which may describe sensation changes ranging from numbness to severe pain-like sensations.

Tingling is usually a type of nerve pain and must be distinguished from other types of pain. Tingling may be related to numbness or partial numbness. Other commonly used descriptions include burning sensations, creeping feelings or crawling sensations, pins-and-needles, and so on.

Many different causes of tingling are possible. Stroke or TIA is a possibility for some types of tingling. Migraine can also cause various types of tingling, including uncommon types like amigrainous migraine. Panic attack or hyperventilation can also cause tingling.

Any injury or disease to a nerve path may cause tingling along that nerve. Causes range from nerve injuries, nerve impingement, spinal vertebra disorders (e.g. slipped disc), nerve disorders (causing neuropathy) such as peripheral neuropathy, nerve entrapment disorders, multiple sclerosis, diabetes (undiagnosed or poorly controlled), and nerve infections (e.g. shingles). There are many other possible causes depending on the location and other symptoms.

There are a number of serious causes for tingling. Any tingling symptom needs prompt professional medical diagnosis. Seek emergency medical attention if stroke or other life-threatening cause is suspected.

Read more about: Paresthesias

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Pins and needles

Everyone can get pins and needles, but see a GP if you keep getting it or it lasts a long time.

Source: NHS Choices UK1

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Tingling: A sensation as of repetitive pin pricks, caused by cold or by striking a nerve, or as a result of various diseases of the central or peripheral nervous system.2

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Tingling adverse event: A paresthesia adverse event characterized by unusual prickling sensations in any part of the body3

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References

  1. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Pins-and-needles/ 
  2. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  3. Source: OAE Ontology

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.