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Pins and needles for over a year - anyone in the same position?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670

I am a 31 year old ex-dancer. Ex since i developed pins and needles in my right leg a year ago and i had to stop dancing. I have tried all manner of conservative treatment [physio, acupuncture, pilates, swimming, hydro theraphy] with no change. After a year i have to choose whether to accept the symptoms and try to get back to work or to have a micro-discectomy.

Has anyone else had this procedure for these types of symptoms [chronic pins and needles and numbness in the feet]?
And if so, how did it go?

I am really worried about making my symptoms worse as at present i am not in pain, but also i cannot accept that i will be like this forever.
Anyone got a similar story to tell?
I would love to hear it - i feel very isolated with this and can't quite gauge if i am crazy to be considering surgery,

get in touch


  • I have pins and needles but its from pre/post surgery. I had a lot of nerve damage.
    Have you had an MRI?
    Have you seen a surgeon?
    Sometimes bone spurs growing on your nerves will create this, Thats what I had, but I am sure that a lot of people have different reasons.
    Just keep moving and don't give up!


  • Thanks for getting in touch. I was considering abandoning all hope of ever returning to dancing just before i logged on - so thanks for the encouragement.

    Wow, you had 3 slipped discs. That must have been very painful. How do you feel post op?
    And how was the op?

    I've had a couple of mri's and seen 4 different surgeons [it's a bad spanish habit to seek many medical opinions!] 2 of which refused to operate and 2 who have offered to. So it's even.

    I am desperate to get better and get back dancing, but i can't quite get past all the risks and the fact that surgery might make absolutely no difference. Also i've been told 6 months to a year out, when right now i could go on stage and perform. It would be in pain and not at my best but i could do it.

    How did you make the decision??

    Raquel X
  • Your present symptoms may not be enough to make you a good candidate for surgery.There are more conservative treatments to consider.You can have a steroid treatment course or, Epidural Steroid Injection.These two combined with little rest could prove very effective.Just out of curiosity,what are the MRI results,and what are doc's saying about them?

  • Hi G,

    I know what you mean - whoever is in my head does not feel like me either. I feel less like a shadow of my former self than someone completely different. Who i don't especially like...
    People are surprised i have been offered an op considering i am not in pain and am still pretty physical - i can still manage a dance class ok and can swim and do some quite aggressive rehab. But i've had a nerve root block and months of meds which have had no affect at all. And i am starting to go crazy. The MRI shows a central protrusion as L5/S1, but one which has gotten smaller over the past year, although symptoms have remained the same.
    Any thoughts?
    Raquel X

  • I go scitica this july. first , i pain a lot. But now, pain decrease. I feel pins and needle on my left foot. I also left leg weakness. now i am training to walk well.
    If i can walk well in the furture, even I got pins and needle feeling I will not surgery.
  • Hi-sorry to hear about your pins & needles, but I can totally relate! Mine started August 3rd, 2007 and has never stopped even once since. Some days it's more "harsh" than others but it never stops. It ranges from being a nuisance, to rather unnerving! /:) I have a lot of sciatic pain that runs down from my back, through my bum and down the leg right into my toes sometimes also in the same (left) leg (radiculopathy). I often times find myself kinda bumping my foot on the floor in attempt to "wake it up"...you'd think at some point I would get wise to the fact that ain't gonna do it! :S [( lol

    I have to admit tho, that over the last couple months or so I've had a sensation of kinda numb/cold feeling in the left side of my groin, including the labia and very top portion of the inner thigh...this is kinda freaking me out but since it isn't 'actually' numb-I can feel it to the touch, it just feels like it should be "numb"-and the cold feeling is akin to putting an ice pack there for just a couple mins. So far I'm not experiencing bladder incontinence so I don't think it's really a big deal-tho worth a mention to the doc when I see him in a couple weeks.

    My point in telling you that is just to make you aware of some symptoms that I have due to the compression of my nerves, which is what I would guess is causing your 'pins and needles' too. Just be aware of what you're feeling, keep track of it with how often, for how long, if certain things intensify or weaken the sensation, etc. and definitely share this info with your doc. And of course, if anything changes for the worse, see the doc with all that you've written down about what's going on, ASAP!

    Best of luck to you-please keep us posted as to how things go, OK?
  • Hi Tania,

    Good to hear your story. Are you considering surgery at all? I've not heard about anyone making a full recovery from these symptoms from conservative methods. Have you?

  • I have been having pins and needles for three weeks now. It all started after I did some stretches in bending position. Unlike most people, it did not start suddenly. There was inflammation, some pain, and pins needles started nearly one week after that bending. It got better after 4 days. Today its back again. I got an MRI, and it showed a bulged L3/L4 disc, and a minor bulges in L4/L5, L5/L6.

    I was depressed for a while(I am a 23 year old guy who likes outdoor activities like hiking, skiing. :(), but now I am now trying out different activities to figure out what makes the symptoms better/worse.

    Even I would like to know if someone's symptoms were cured, and what they did for that.
  • Hiya Raquel~*

    Unfortunately no, I haven't heard of anyone being completely relieved of the nerve symptoms/damage either. :< Scary, isn't it? And while I'm very afraid that there's going to be permanent issues because I've been forced to wait so long for aggressive treatment (long story), I absolutely refuse to just accept it! I'm stubborn, and also completely independant for the first time ever in my life for over a year now (always lived with my 'rents, hubby, boyfriends, friends until 7/07) and I just can't accept that I may, once again, be dependant on others in the future-especially physically! BUT...I've been dealing with this for years (started 11/2002 and progressively got worse to the point that I had to leave my "dream" career 6/05 because I just couldn't risk the safety of my patients and/or my partners at work) so sometimes I tend to dwell on the reduced quality of life I'm living now and get lost in thought regarding how much worse off I'm going to be in X amount of years from now. Course, I'm sure we're ALL guilty of that to some degree. :S

    As far as surgery...at first I wanted nothing to do with it, but over the past year I've started praying for SOMETHING to go right so that I CAN have surgery! My PM, NS, and even the IME from my work comp case, have all agreed that I need probably a 3 level fusion starting L2/3; however I have no way to pay for it. I got a shitty award in my work comp case, and I have Medicaid ("welfare" ins.) who refuses to cover a LOT of things that would help me including surgery. The only surgery they have approved for me (took them a year to OK it!) was an Endoscopic Discectomy on 2 levels, but by the time they approved it the Dr's say it will no longer do me much good so not worth the risk/time/expense, etc. Grrrr....

    If there were ANY way I could have surgery with a good outlook for positive results, I'd be on the OR table tomorrow-because I'm THAT sick of being in pain and not being able to do much of anything w/o suffering so much for it. I would give ANYTHING to be able to go back to work, even if that means I have to do something else besides being a Paramedic (which I already know will never happen again primarily because of the lifting requirements). I can not STAND being at home all the time...I was never a "home body" and now I feel like I've turned into a lazy bum! And the income situation is definitely the worst I've ever experienced...I have 3 boys (1 lives with his dad by his choice but the other 2 live with me full time and he's here every other wknd/holidays/etc) and a cat plus myself-we're living on literally $504 a month! I not only WANT to get a job again, I NEED to! But....for now, all I can do is pray for my SSD appeal hearing (and for it to go my way!), and surgery, that will hopefully help me gain back some of my life in addition to enabling me to work again) and just tough this thing out one day at a time....cause it's all I can do...it's all ANY of us can do... :S

    I feel it is important for all of us to have faith that the Lord will lead us through what He's brought us to. I know it's hard to keep the faith and He knows how many times I lose sight of Him when it gets really bad, but somehow or another we all need to band together. Brothers and Sisters in chronic pain are all bonded in a way that isn't understandable to those who've never experienced what we're going through. We need to hold each others heads up when they can't hold up their own, and offer our shoulders and support as often as we can because in reality, what we all truly need IS each other! Sometimes just knowing that somebody else out there has been where we are at that moment is a source of comfort that can help us when we're at our darkest hours.

    The bad times will always find their way back to us-but knowing we are loved/cared for by others in the same predicament just might make the bad times a teensy weensy bit easier to bare! :)

    Hope you're feeling better soon! I've added you to my prayers (as all the other Spiney's are!)...

    Take care of you...

  • Hi to both of you! First Tanya, omg, your story sounds like much like me that it is scary!!, although mine is not work related. Raquell, I have the same questions about the sciatica! I have just come home from my pt appt, and all it did as usual was make everything worse! I am so confused about what to do. LIke Tanya, I need to work, as my check is the main and foremost income, but after basically ignoring the pain, numbness & tingling for over a year, it got to where I finally broke down & went to the doctor. So of course he ordered another mri, and 6 weeks of pt and 4 weeks out of work. After those 4 wks, I was still no better and called him and told him and he extended work release for 2 more wks. I go back for follow up with him in a week. I am beyond stir crazy being at home, but when I feel like this I know I can't work, as my job is very physical, with very long work days. I'm like you Tanya, if there was any surgery that would make my back better I would be on the table in a heartbeat!! But I am scared by all the negative stories about the results. But then again, as someone said, the people who've had success are not the ones we hear from , they are out enjoying their life. I wish luck to both of you in finding the correct solution to your own health problems.
  • This site has been such a life saver for me over the last year and a half. This is a rollercoaster I so desperately want to get off of but knowing that I can't, I have to keep my chin up, find my inner strength, pray hard and take it one day (sometimes one minute) at a time. You are so right, we have to stick together!!
  • :H Hello to everyone!
    For over two years now I've been experincing pins, numbness,cold and lost of touch sensation in my left leg,including buckling without any sign. After having two cervical spine surgeries,hopefully the last one this past January it still exist.I have a problem with my balance and coordination and I use a cane for support.I still have the same symptoms in both upper extermities into the hands. Having to deal with these problems has been very difficult.Depression,Anxiety and Anger.However, I still try to maintain a positive attitude everyday regardless too how I may be feeling.I have witness that their are people who are worst off than myself,that wish they were not confined to a wheelchair or bed. My condition has improved from were I was 18 months ago. I could not walk,sleep,stand, difficulty breathing,Swallowing,Speech and the loss of bowel and bladder control. I thank God for his mercy and his grace.Including all my family members and friends for their support. So, don't be discourage just try too do what your able and capable of doing.
    Peace Be With You!
  • :H Hello to everyone!
    For over two years now I've been experincing pins, numbness,cold and lost of touch sensation in my left leg,including buckling without any sign. After having two cervical spine surgeries,hopefully the last one this past January it still exist.I have a problem with my balance and coordination and I use a cane for support.I still have the same symptoms in both upper extermities into the hands. Having to deal with these problems has been very difficult.Depression,Anxiety and Anger.However, I still try to maintain a positive attitude everyday regardless too how I may be feeling.I have witness that their are people who are worst off than myself,that wish they were not confined to a wheelchair or bed. My condition has improved from were I was 18 months ago. I could not walk,sleep,stand, difficulty breathing,Swallowing,Speech and the loss of bowel and bladder control. I thank God for his mercy and his grace.Including all my family members and friends for their support. So, don't be discourage just try too do what your able and capable of doing.
    Peace Be With You!
  • Raquel (and anyone else with nerve impingement)

    FIRST OFF, I am sorry any of you have to go through this. It's rough. I also have had the pins and needles, but mostly pain if standing more than 5-10 seconds or sitting for up to 30 seconds. I had a herniated disc that was pressing on my L5/S1 nerve. I thought it would go away, but it didn't. I finally decided to have the surgery my neurosurgeon recommended. I felt better immediately after waking from the surgery. I was up walking that afternoon and night, and went home on post op day 1. I was supposed to spend 2 nites in the hospital, but only stayed one because I felt so (so, so, so) good.

    Because I waited too long, to do the surgery, I now have permanent nerve damage. This means the pins and needles (some days it's more like broken glass) will not go away. :''(

    So, my advice is this: if you have a herniated disc that is pressing on a nerve, have the surgery. Don't wait too long. DO IT, and DO IT NOW. It's not life or death or anything, but you risk causing more harm than good by waiting. If there is no nerve impingement, then maybe therapy of some sort will help. Just don't be stupit like me and think it will go away on its own...

    I hope you each receive some kind of relief from the pain you experience day after day. Good luck Raquel!

  • What a bummer after all that! :|

    I have had numbness and tingling on the top of my left foot, just below the fold of my ankle. I also have major sciatica happening, and the top of my hamstrings feel like they're ready to pull out, but I think L5/S1 is the main problem.

    I've been told I'm not a candidate for surgery "because there are too many issues" in there, so am just plodding along!

    Good luck, Raquel, and I hope you get some answers.


  • Your comments to me are so very sweet, and very much appreciated! I just hope that my words and my experiences/knowledge can help others facing chronic pain or any other issues I've had to deal with. That is my reason for living...helping others-it's my calling and what I was placed on earth to do, so I feel I'm doing my job when someone thanks me for my words. =D> Thank you so much again!

    I will not rest until each and every one of us is listened to, helped, understood, and relieved of our pain-and most importantly-given back our lives! That is my goal and I will never stop no matter how many breaks I have to take along the way (to deal with my pain or other issues). I hope that we will all fight this together and never give in to our pain!

    Hope you all are doing OK tonight and able to get some good sleep.

    Take care of you...
  • Hello everyone

    I have had pins and needles for the past four months i get it in my legs hands and my bum.Now i have it in my knee I am worried and i don't know what to do.sometimes i have some pains in my joints.
    I wonder if there is some kind of medication to stop it.

    Thanks for reading this because I don't alone anymore
  • Personally Lydia, I think you need to address this with your Dr right away. There are meds for nerve pain that might help you-if you have a Neurosurgeon and/or a Pain Management Physician, I would speak to one or both of them as opposed to just a family Dr (not that the family Dr shouldn't now, just that I think one of the other 2 would be better suited to help you). I would also think they might want to do an EMG and nerve conduction test (NCV) to check for pinched and/or damaged nerves.

    Keep us posted, OK? Take care...
  • I, too, have had pins and needles off and on for years, but almost constantly for the past year. I have a hernation at L5/S1, but two surgeons have decided NOT to do surgery for me because "there are too many other issues" surrounding DDD and facet joint problems. I was also just recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, so am now on a totally different path with medication trials to ease some of the pain that has persisted for 20+ years.

    I can get pins and needles down the outside of my thigh to my knee, from my knee to my ankle, my whole calf into my foot, the inside of my calf to my big toe....it's a surprise from day to day and depends on how active I've been. I sometimes feel I stumble because I'm "clumsy", but realistically, it's probably because something is numb and I can't tell where my leg or foot is positioned! /:)

    I have had a little relief with physiotherapy, especially acupressure and acupuncture along with it, and since I started on Froban and Methotrexate, the inflammation is down, which has improved things somewhat.

    At this point surgery is NOT an option for me, so I just hope things don't get too much worse!

  • Thanks for the advice but have been to see my GP and she sad nothing to me she just looked at me and sad nothing.

    It made me looked stooped but i will still go back to see her hopfuly this time she will lithing to me.

    sometime is getting people you love taking you serious and not make you feel along.Thank you for this it Min's a lot to me. i am going on holiday for 3month so i might not be able to contact.

    please brr will me beause my spilling are not that good.

  • Do not delay treatment/surgery/whatever is needed! For me, I had 4 measly months before I had permanent nerve damage. Everyone is different and there is no hard and fast rule, but NO ONE thought it could happen that quickly. Certainly not me.

    I was busy being in denial, working overtime, staying busy, going to the chiropractor - anything other than medical treatment, because that would have pulled me right out of denial.

    I ended up with 3 surgeries in 12 months and NONE fixed my nerve pain. The nerve burning/tingling/pins and needles and finally, numbness. So much numbness. On the outside of both buttocks, both thighs, both calves, both feet, 4th and 5th toes on each foot. Now I can forget about dancing or anything else. I have to pay attention to every step I take because with all the numbness, I am at a huge fall risk. I balance on the inside of my feet or tip over. I am 42 years old and have a cane, a walker and a permanent handicap car tag. It stinks.

    And in 2005, the 4 months I ignored the pain? While I kept living my life as if nothing were wrong, and my husband begging and begging me to go to the doctor? But I didn't want surgery, and I thought going to the medical doctor would force me into surgery. Well, I was right BUT no one told me I was risking permanent nerve damage.

    I don't want to scare anyone, but permanent nerve damage is very real and very life-changing. I will never be the same. There are few treatments for nerve damage - pain meds, spinal cord stimulators or implanted pain pumps. I am on the meds and just got my SCS on Monday. I am praying it works for me. It currently is and I am so excited.

    But I never had any idea. Your nerves might take the burning for years and still heal. Mine did not. You just never know.

    Forgot to add: all doctors kept telling me just give it time, let the nerves heal. I was finally given an EMG in November, 2007 and the diagnosis changed, and so did how the docs treated me. It was a huge turning point, devastating but also validating. I knew I wasn't crazy.

    I wish you much good luck!!

  • I've been dealing with numbness & tingling for a good 4 years now, have had multiple EMG & nerve velocity tests that have always come back negative. About 8 months ago I did get relief after an ESI, I also started taking Lyrica. It is slowly coming back and my back pain is much worse. I'm scheduled for another ESI this Friday and I'm hoping it works. My PM doc thinks it will be more diagnostic than therapeutic but we are hoping for the best.

    My GP referred me to this PM doc and he has found issues on my MRIs and has not made me feel like it was all in my head. So far my treatment has been conservative and the doc has always given me options and let me choose what path to take.
  • I just had the surgery after years of pins & needles + back pain that was affecting my dancing as well as every area of my life.
    The thought of not being able to dance has kept me from pursuing surgery for years but it finally this past year got to the point I was sitting out more at practice than I was participating..not ideal when you are on a dance troupe.
    I hope I am able to perform by August this year, God willing. I can't imagine life without dance. :(

    Anyway, my point is that it will probably not get better if there is nerve impingement..I held off surgery for sometime with the steriod injections & they helped alot, but you can only have so many.

    I just wanted you to know I understand the dance thing >:D<
  • I have had Pins and Needles as well as a burning and cold sensation with a "itchy crawling" Sensation down the nervepath of the S1/L5 nervepath together with Sciatica from my left Buttock down the left Leg to my Toes/Sole of my Foot.It developed immediately after L5/S1 discectomy and revised Fusion a Year ago and it is getting worse. It is at best very irritating and annoying ,at worst it is extremely painful.The nervepain also reacts very badly to any weatherchanges.I was told by my Surgeon,there is nothing else he can do.I absolutely and totally refuse to live with this pain or to accept it as inevitable.I am going to have an EMG of my left Leg first,to see,if that will show,or give me an Idea ,where the Nervepain is coming from and then we will take the next Step.
    BTW,Tanya:I am wishing for a whole Body Transplant with a good and healthy Spine,it is less Problems then just a Spine transplant(but I'll take what i can get)!!
    Take Care
  • Sometimes it takes the full 3 injections for someone to get any relief from having ESIs. If you got some relief from the first one, chances are good that you will get more relief from the next two.
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