Pin and needles in hands for almost a decade?

This is the forum for medical questions right?

And before anyone says it, YES medical doctors were consulted, multiple in fact, their diagnosis is always pinched nerve or carpel tunnel and recommend neck exercises that don’t improve the numbness.

On our volition we have checked blood sugar multiple times and it is within normal ranges or low.

This has been going on for a decade and it actually now spreading with other body parts becoming numb, but only the hands are constant pins and needles. It is really interfering with everyday life.

I’m just wondering if anyone could suggest something obvious being overlooked.(I’m not the one suffering this BTW)

When you say multiple doctors were consulted do you mean specialists or general practitioners? Specialists do Electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies:

Were these done?

The list of causes of peripheral neuropathy is long.

I’ve got some neuropathy in my feet - undiscovered until I consulted a neurologist for sleep issues (I have RLS, which is a neurological disorder). He did the usual tests involving balance, touching the feet with tuning fork, etc., and noted the neuropathy.

I did get the pleasure of evoked-potential testing (had had an electromyelogram and nerve conductance testing 10+ years earlier) which was a) thoroughly unpleasant, and b) said “yep, seems to be some lack of communication going on”.

He also ran some blood tests to rule out some causes like Lyme disease, B12 deficiency, and syphilis (which was funny - I didn’t recognize the name/code on the lab results, so did some googling, and started cracking up: I’m quite sure he didn’t mention it by name as some people would be Offended).

End result? a big :::shrug:::. The notes say “polyneurophathy…nerve conduction normal arms…distal conduction in lower extremities”… myotatic reflexes reduced in ankles… distal sensory loss… gait and coordination are normal" (that last is hysterical - clearly the man had never seen me trip over my own damn feet). They also noted something about sedimentation rate (slightly high) and M-spike (none). I seem to recall seeing “benign familial neuropathy” somewhere but can’t find it in the records I have right now.

I’m assuming that “distal conduction in lower extremities” is a transcription error, should be something like “reduced distal conduction” or something, right?

I’ve actually noticed increased numbness since then, which is fairly strongly correlated to some seating issues since I’ve been working from home more. Blood sugar is a titch high but not in the diabetic range and definitely not in the ranges that would lead to diabetic neuropathy.

OK, the tl/dr version is that basically sometimes they just don’t figure out the cause, but if they’ve ruled out all the Very Scary Stuff, you can try managing it on your own, including doing your best to note when the symptoms are better vs. worse. You could try wearing some soft braces designed for carpal tunnel and see if that makes any difference, also check out your sleep position to see if that’s putting pressure or forcing unusual angles in your wrists.

(bolding mine)
Can you explain that last? Is a household member having similar symptoms? a relative who does not live with you? Those are both important clues.

If it’s a household member (blood relative or not) it would suggest something environmental - a toxin of some sort?

I started getting this, along with a pain in my left shoulder, a few weeks ago. I have total mobility in that arm. My doctor diagnosed a disc problem in my neck, I zapped over to X-Ray, and there it was. I’m doing physical therapy, which seems to be the best solution. Have you had X-rays for this? It could at least rule out nerve problems.

This is my experience as well. MRI-diagnosed with “massive” herniated discs at C6-C7 and C7-C8 (IIRC). Recovered with some treatment, but the index finger of my right hand is likely permanently nerve-damaged. Definitely get an EMG to start with.

Ha. I see now there is no C8. Maybe it’s C5-C6 and C6-C7.

My mom was diagnosed “benign familial neuropathy” after a raft of tests. As far as I can tell that means “we suspect it’s genetic because we can’t find a cause”.
Hers has progressed gradually til now, at age 74, she has almost no feeling in her feet and very little in her hands. The lack of feeling in her feet affects her balance, because, no feedback on where she’s stepping. It also makes her a menace on the roads (can’t feel the pedals). We’re working on persuading her not to drive, but it’s an uphill battle.
Since all Mom’s direct relatives except her father (sisters, mother, mother’s sisters) had the same thing, odds are fairly good I and my sister will get it eventually.

I have carpal tunnel, and the GP sent me to one hand specialist, who immediately began steroid injections into my wrist. A round of three, and the pins and needles were gone for two years. When they came back, I got a booster. I wear braces at night, and when I drive long distances.

No one brought those up?

I’ve had peripheral neuropathy in my feet for about ten years now, gradually getting worse. They tingle all the time, but are very sensitive to pain. They did the nerve conduction test and they agreed. The test was super unpleasant (see Mamma Zappa above) and resulted in no treatment. The guy told to come back for a retest in 18 months. Sure I did.

The only real effect is on balance and I have trouble walking down stairs if there is no railing. My feet are not numb and it has no effect on driving (or walking).

I have neuropathy from radiation. Has this person ever had radiation therapy?

I had pins and needles in one hand, one summer. Since my job was picking up chemical waste from campus labs, I got sent to the health center for evaluation. They took a blood test and referred me to a specialist. It turned out to indirectly be because they had given me a loaner truck while the regular truck had maintenance.

You see, the loaner had no AC and it was hot. So I’d drive with the window down and my elbow resting in the opening to catch the breeze. That lifted my arm into a position that pressed a muscle into a nerve path coming down my shoulder. The specialist caught it immediately, with no mention of the truck to help.

The test was quick. He felt my pulse while lifting my arm. The arteries to the wrist travel through the same tunnel in the shoulder that the nerves travel through, so when the arm was in the right position, the strength of the pulse would drop.

It was a kind of a 3/4 raised position. From the position, I figured out the connection to the truck. I came back to work and reported that I’d been told not to lean my elbow on the open truck window. I stopped and it went away in half a week.

The paperwork for the potential work injury went on for a few months after, though. I eventually got a notice that I had been determined to have a 0% disability and that I could expect to receive monthly checks of $0.00, beginning in six to eight weeks. Sadly, they never came.

I hope the cause of your friend’s/family member’s/coworker’s pins and needles turns out to be easily fixed, grude. I think it was some kind of ortho-specialist that I was sent to, if that’s something that hasn’t been checked. Apparently some people are constructed in a way that makes that kind of positional irritation fairly likely.

Had a similar problem that, as a hypochondriac/pessimist, I was certain was due to a stroke or MS or something catastrophic. I went to a neurologist who after some basic sensory tests surprised the heck out of me by saying, “Have you ever been tested for b12 deficiency?” I was like, “The vitamin?” (Yeah, I know, duh, right? A stupid question, but I was taken aback. Here I was, clearly dying from a tumor pressing on my spine or something, and he’s wondering if I’m deficient in some vitamin?)

Well, the obvious end to the story is: yes, I was b12 deficient. B12 is something that a lot of doctors don’t test for, but the consequences of b12 deficiency are manifold, including dementia, depression, panic attacks, and all sorts of neurological issues such as the peripheral neuropathy due to nerve damage.

I was given a shot and took megadoses of sublingual b12 for a few months, and the symptoms went away almost completely.

Obviously there are multiple other causes and one wants to rule some of the bad stuff out, but it can indeed be something as simple as this.

Mine is C3. And those names would have meant nothing to me a few weeks ago.

I’ve learned to be a lot more aggressive about getting care. Years ago I would have gone on with what the first doctor said, but this time I didn’t buy it and got another appointment - so I stopped treating the wrong part of my body.

Well duh, I misread grude’s comment - thought it read “not the ONLY one suffering…”. I thought you were saying that multiple people were dealing with this, which suggested something familial, or exposure-based.

Of course it might well be an exposure of some sort.