health Dec 27, 2021

An abnormal sensation of the skin such as tingling, pricking, chilling, burning, numbness and severe pain with no apparent physical cause is known as Paresthesia.
Paresthesias can occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly occur in the arms and legs.
Acroparesthesia is a form of paresthesia that occurs in the hands or feet, and may be caused by the compression of nerves during sleep or brief periods of poor circulation.  This can happen when a person falls asleep on the hand or sits with the legs crossed for too long.
Abnormal sensations usually occur because of putting pressure inadvertently on a nerve and it can be resolved by changing the position to remove the pressure from the affected nerve. This type of Acroparesthesia is temporary and usually rectified without treatment.
If the condition persists, and the person is suffering from a disorder like Fabry disease, a type of rare genetic disorder, then it requires treatment. It can also be a sign of hypocalcemia.
If the paresthesia is chronic, it may be a sign of nerve damage and nerve damages are of two types: radiculopathy and neuropathy.
Compression, irritation or inflammation of nerve roots cause Radiculopathy and
chronic nerve damage due to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar leads to Neuropathy.
Nerve damage can ultimately lead to permanent numbness or paralysis.
Radiculopathy may occur due to a herniated disk that presses on a nerve, or narrowing of the canal that transmits the nerve from the spinal cord to the extremity, or any mass that compresses the nerve as it exits the spinal column.
Neuropathy may occur due to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, bone marrow or connective tissue disorders, certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs, deficiencies in vitamin B-1, B-6, B-12, E, or niacin, exposure to toxic substances such as chemicals or heavy metals, hypothyroidism, infections such as Lyme disease, shingles, or HIV, kidney diseases, liver diseases, repetitive movement injuries, trauma, too much vitamin D, tumors in the brain or near nerves, and stroke.

Some types of nerve damage are irreversible.

Risk factors

  • risk of radiculopathy increases with age and other factors are,
  • performing repetitive movements that repeatedly compress nerves, such as typing, playing an instrument, or playing a sport such as tennis
  • drinking ┬áheavily and eating a poor diet that leads to vitamin deficiencies, specifically vitamin B-12 and folate
  • Suffering from type 1 or 2 diabetes or an autoimmune condition or a neurological condition, such as MS


Treatment depends on the cause of the paresthesia.

Temporary acroparesthesia can be resolved within a few minutes. Some types of conditions may be treated by eliminating the cause such as a repetitive movement injury problem may be solved by a few lifestyle adjustments or physical therapy.
If possible, such repetitive movement may be avoided and if such repetitive movements have to be performed, often the person has to take rest.
If a person has to sit for long periods, it is better to get up and move around as often as possible.
In the case of chronic paresthesia, its abnormal sensations will remain and appear very often. If the symptoms are severe, they may complicate daily life.
The severity of chronic paresthesia largely depends on the cause.
If the chronic paresthesia is due to an underlying disease, getting treatment for that disease can ease the symptoms of paresthesia and it is better to visit a specialist if necessary.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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