Pins and needles. We’ve all been there before. You know that moment where you’re sitting on the floor, cross-legged, enjoying yourself, having a great time And you decide to get up. Go to the restroom. And about 5 steps in, all of a sudden you feel like you’re walking on glass. If you’re anything like me, you’re overly dramatic about it, too. You know, hopping around and making a show of it. You’re experiencing pins and needles or what a lot of people would say is your leg has fallen asleep. In today’s episode, we’re gonna figure out what’s exactly going on with it. So let’s do this. The first thing we need to do is discuss what pins and needles really is. And it’s real name is called parasthesia. Now parasthesia kinda sounds a little bit like paralysis and they do go hand and hand because those individuals who do have some paralysis will also be experiencing some level of parathesia. Parathesia is just that which we already know comes with pins and needles. Right? We get numbness, tingling, stabbing, burning. A lot of people even describe it as, like, this static-y type of feeling. I know myself that’s what, how I feel is this very static-y, just crunchy type of, uh, sensation. And that’s parasthesia in general, but there’s even two subsets of it. You can have what’s transient or you can have chronic. Transient is the one we’re talking about today. And this is one that is pretty short-lasting and it’s typically coming from some type of awkward posture and pressure that you put onto the nerve itself. Or maybe even the blood supplying it. Chronic, on the other hand, this is obviously more long-lasting and typically comes from damage or some type of infection such as Lyme disease that’s affecting the nerve and causing these sensations to occur. We’re gonna spend our time, like I just mentioned, talking about transient. So, let’s say you’re just sitting cross-legged or you’re sitting, um, you’re kind of crossing your legs in a chair. Something along those lines and you’re gonna be putting pressure in the back of the thigh right here. Cuz this is what we’re looking at. You have a zoomed in picture of the back of the knee and then we’re seeing the distal aspect or the farthest aspect of the hamstrings. Now, there are three hamstrings. We have the biceps femoris, we have the semitendinosus, and, this is pretty cool, you can see its long tendon here and then we also have, just underneath it, the semimembranosus. So there are three hamstrings but what we want to look at is what’s between them and if you look closely, you might see these two little tubes coming out. And if I kinda bring them to the surface, you are looking at the sciatic nerve as it splits into two smaller nerves. You see, the sciatic nerve is really two nerves bundled together as one. And we can see them splitting here into the common peroneal nerve and the tibial nerve. The common peroneal would then wrap around the head of the fibula and go to the side of the leg, the lower leg, and the front of the lower leg while the tibial nerve continues all the way down to the bottom of the foot. And that’s gonna be important, ‘specially when we start explaining the symptoms of parasthesia. Alright? So let’s say, again, that you’re just in this cross-legged position and you’re just putting pressure. So even though this nerve is still deep to the hamstrings, the constant pressure that could be put on this is enough that over time, the nerve kind of gets a traffic jam. You could literally think that the signal is not able to be sent so it starts to shut down. And that’s why you experience this numbness. So if the pressure that you’re applying is significant enough you could be affecting the blood vessels that are deep down that supply the nerve to make it work, giving it oxygen and energy in the form of glucose. If you do that, the nerve just pretty much shuts down. And when it shuts down, obviously it can’t send the proper signals. That’s parasthesia. So you usually feel, oh no, my leg is going numb. And then, what do you do? You get up, and again, if you’re like me, you’re being overly dramatic with this but all of a sudden as you restore blood supply as you res- take the pressure off of the nerve itself you could think of it as rebooting. The whole thing just comes back online. And as it comes back online, it just starts sending signal after signal after signal, this rush of signals and your brain interprets that as pain or the static-y, burning, stabby type of feeling. And you feel it all the way down, right? It’s gonna go down the lower leg and it’s gonna even go to the bottom of the foot. I know for me, again, it’s like I’m standing on tacks or something like that. Remember, I-I am being overly dramatic with this but that pain is coming from the nerve rebooting. That’s what pins and needles are. They are the nerve turning back on. You turned it off. You flipped the light switch, and it’s letting you know that you were applying significant enough pressure and you were kind of, sort of harming it. Now, if you did that long enough, you literally could create long-lasting damage. But I think most of us aren’t going to be doing something like that. At the same time, though, individuals who may not have as much of a choice. Let’s say someone who’s in a wheel chair, again, just because you may be paraplegic or have some kind of issue with your legs doesn’t mean you’ve lost all feeling in all scenarios. They could be having that pressure and they could be feeling some really intense pain and doing long-lasting damage. The same could go for those who just spend way too much time sitting or in bed. You can just create the scenario yourself and probably have a good idea as to what’s going on. But, there you go. Hopefully, that answers your question as to what parasthesia or pins and needles are. It’s your nerve rebooting.