Pins and needles in your hands? Move your head from side to side.


Getting that pins and needles feeling in your hand can make you flail it around, searching for feeling. But don’t bother with your hand—move your head instead. 

Numbness or tingling (paresthesia in medical terms) is caused by compression of your nerves, nerves that pass through your neck. Moving your neck muscles around can relieve compression on the nerves there and bring feeling back to your hands. 

This trick can even be helpful when you are behind the wheel. Hands can fall asleep when driving because a tight seat belt or shirt sleeve (caused by your driving position) compresses the nerves in your neck or arm, leading to that numbing, tingly sensation we are all familiar with.

Loosening your neck muscles by rocking your head from side to side can relieve the pressure and offer quick relief. The “pins and needles” feeling should go away in a few minutes. 

If that (lack of) feeling persists or comes back a lot, talk to your doctor about it. If the numbness isn’t relieved, consider whether you have other symptoms that might indicate a more serious issue. Did the numbness begin suddenly, cause weakness or spread up or down the body? Do you have any difficulty breathing. If so, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body) is a main symptom of stroke.

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