Pins and Needles in the Legs

The feeling described as pins and needles in their legs is a very common malady of many patients. This feeling has a name, parathesia. At its simplest, parathesia can be just a sign that you slept wrong, compressing the blood flow to your limb causing it to “fall asleep.” It can also be a sign of chronic conditions such as restless leg syndrome, circulatory problems, multiple sclerosis or even a stroke. Whatever the cause may be, if it happens often, the care of a medical professional is advised.


  • A prickly or stinging sensation in one or both legs, buttock area or feet
  • A burning sensation in any of the areas mentioned above
  • A feeling that your legs have “fallen asleep”
  • An inability to rest or fall asleep because you feel as if your legs won’t stop moving
  • Actual pain in any or all of the areas mentioned above

Causes of the Feeling of Pins and Needles in the Legs:

The causes of pins and needles in ones legs can be acute or chronic. Some of the causes might be benign while others might be a serious threat to your health. Here is a list of possible causes but it is not all inclusive. Remember if you suffer from any of the symptoms listed get medical advice.

  • Pressure put upon the nerves
  • Epilepsy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Herniated Disk
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Anemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Alcohol Use
  • Drug Use
  • Adverse Drug Reaction
  • Stroke or TIA

This list is not all inclusive. Remember to seek the advice of a medical professional.

Most Common Causes of the Feeling of Pins and Needles in One’s Legs:

Even though the above list of causes of parathesia in one or both legs can be scary, the most common causes are quite benign. The most typical cause is a compression of the nerves or blood vessels as you are falling asleep. This will usually cause numbness in either the right leg or the left leg. Another common cause of numbness in the legs at night is Restless Leg Syndrome. While Restless Leg Syndrome itself is not life threatening it can be life disrupting. It can cause insomnia and it can be a sign of other conditions such as iron deficiency.

How to Stop Pins and Needles in the Legs:

  1. Get up and walk
  2. Shake the affected limb
  3. Stretch the affected limb
  4. Massage the affected area
  5. Seek medical advise


While the feeling of pins and needles in ones legs can be quite bothersome, the cause is usually not life threatening. Still, it can be an indicator of a more serious problem. If you find that the simple measures of walking it off or changing positions do not alleviate the problem, seek medical advice from your doctor. Working with your doctor can get to the root cause of the problem and maybe even head off a life threatening condition.