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

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321

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
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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