You have probably experienced temporary paresthesia (sometimes called pins and needles) if you sat in one position for too long or have fallen asleep with your head resting on your arm. The sensation is caused by temporary pressure on a nerve. Moving about relieves the pressure and feeling in the area is restored.

Chronic (long term) paresthesia can be a symptom of many issues including nerve damage, neurological disease or an orthopaedic condition. It is important to correctly determine the cause of your paresthesia so appropriate treatment can begin immediately. Your GP may refer you to a specialist consultant for further examination.

Diagnosing the cause of parethesia will include a taking a complete medical history, a physical examination and diagnostic tests or scans such as those below:


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