Needles and Pins / Poor Blood Circulation


I am reaching out to the forum in case there is any knowledge / experience of what might cause needles and pins or poor blood circulation in a stroke survivor.

I myself am a carer and the person I care for cannot speak or communicate in a way I can understand so I am trying to understand what it is that causes her so much discomfort. Every now and then and usually in the morning at wake up time, the left hand (not affected by stroke) seems to suffer from (I can only guess this) needles and pins. This then leads to frantic scratching around, sometimes even drawing a little blood before things settle.

I have tried to get help from GPs but they just want to prescribe pain killers and I would rather get to know the cause so I can help prevent it.

Anyone out there either suffer from this or care for someone who does?

Just for more information, the stroke survivor had a severe stroke that resulted in loss of speech and right side paralysis. Being 90+ years’ old, the medical profession is reluctant to do “unnecessary” tests to get to root cause of any problems we raise concerns about. We are often told that due to her age it might be better to “wait and see” rather than put her through some potentially stressful tests that may be invasive etc.


Hi @Mahoney,

Thanks. Yes, unfortunately it is a sad fact of life that once you reach a certain age, age related discrimination starts to creep in. On the one hand I can understand that you may not want to go through invasive or potentially painful tests, but on the other to almost use age as a default reason for not wanting to investigate further is disappointing.

Sometimes with persistence, we can get further, but it gets very draining when you have to constantly ask for something to be looked at again. Also, the opportunity to find the problem may reduce with elapsed time :frowning:

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Hi @Loshy.

Loraine, maybe what you are describing is similar to the condition the person I care for has, but I won’t be able to confirm for sure as she cannot communicate effectively. It’s mostly yelling which is an indication of some pain somewhere! Then it’s the start of a trouble-shooting exercise to try to get to the bottom of it.

I hope your consultation with the specialist goes well.

I will look into the gloves to see if they might help.


Hi Loraine @Loshy,

The link worked fine.

I’ll have a look. I also found something in the Coopers catalgue that is supposed to help, but it is more like a mitten glove. It’s a compression glove with tiny magnets and it is supposed to help with retaining body’s natural warmth.

Also found a heated hand massager which also has gentle compression and relaxation features. It is quite expensive at nearly £70 but if it does the job it might be worth the price.

These are “gadgets” from a Coopers of Stortford catalogue (I am not trying to promote them or endorse them) and I expect that these products are not “medically” approved, but right now, I am open to any suggestions that will ease Mum’s discomfort.

Btw, the heated massager claims to help with:

  • swollen hands
  • compression massages
  • hand pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • thumb joints.

I expect your specialist will be better placed to advise you and I look forward to your update with possibly new tips that might help Mum.


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Hello there,I had pins and needles alot after my stroke 23months ago and occasionally still do,but I also had the sensation of itchiness/crawling over my skin which made me scratch affected areas,dont know why? Medication/nerves/temperature?it’s not so bad now but I wonder if it could maybe help to put a thin soft cotton glove on your patient so if they do scratch it won’t bleed?hope you get itc sorted. Best wishes Bernadette :heart:

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I started getting restless leg syndrome after my stroke. It will drive you crazy! I was prescribed Ropinirole by my Neurologist and it really does help! Maybe look into that?


Hi @BernadetteC ,

It sounds like you had the exact same thing as my Mum. She cannot speak and only has limited use of her right side and so when she feels (and it’s an educated guess by us) the itchiness/crawling over her skin she goes into a manic scractching frenzy and can work up a sweat.

We have asked the specialists (GP, DN etc.) but no one has any answers. We also speculate as to whether it is some medication, nerves or temperature that triggers it. It may be a combination of these things, but we just don’t know.

Unfortunately, Mum does not like constraints and for her wearing a soft cotton glove or an arm protector etc. simply won’t do. Even when we can manage to get it on, she will soon manage to take it off and so we just have to manage as best as we can if we are around when the urge to scratch happens.

We are exploring options and hope to get to the bottom of it soon. It may be it will pass with time like it did with you. Sounds from what you say you don’t know the cause or have solutions other than manage it as best as you can when it happens?

It’s good to know (not in a bad way) that we are not alone in experiencing this.

Thank you for sharing your experience Bernadette. We really appreciate this :smiley:

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Hi @wink.311,

Great - thanks for this information. I will ask the GP if Ropinirole might be of any help to Mum. Best wishes. ManjiB

I also forgot to mention I had a strange sensation in my left leg/foot as though hot water was running down inside it the Occasional Therapist thought it was hyper sensitivity?that has pretty much gone now but I think it’s just a combination of everything but good luck in trying to help your mum,I wish you well,also look after yourself too x

Thanks everyone for all your feedback, information and suggestions.

I am so pleased I posted this as I think I now have a better understanding of what my Mum is going through. She is unable to communicate and all I see is her frantically scratching away. Now with the information in responses posted by everyone and in particular @BernadetteC and @Loshy (thank you Bernadette and Loraine) I feel you are saying and explaining what my Mum is unable to do so. The hot sensation and hot water sensations are probably what my Mum is experiencing but she simply cannot say it in words we can understand.

Funnily enough, the other day, I took some ice cubes from the freezer and ran them up and down on her arm and it seemed to help. Purely by luck, but now that I have what I consider to be almost certainly the description of the condition by others, I have something to work with.

Once again thank you much everyone. You guys are superstars! :pray: :star: :hearts:

As Ringo would say, I also say “Peace and Love!”


Hope youcare coping,I wonder if you could get a moisturiser that is cooling on the skin that might take away the itchy/burning/heat sensation?I had one but I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of it. it wasn’t expensive and from superdrug/savers or somewhere like that I think it was a minty eucalyptus,aloe Vera type,sorry my brain has more holes than Swiss cheese at the moment.just a thought and look after yourself too.☆

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Hi there, I am two months post stroke (ICH) which has affected my right side. As well as weakness, I get tingling and freezing sensations on the side of my head, all down my side and leg. It’s a relief to read hear that it could go away eventually.
I have been given plenty of exercises to do but one thing I found helpful is vigorous rubbing (through clothes) of the affected arm. And it is definitely related to how tired I am/how much been doing - including sedentary task such as reading this forum!

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Hi there
I must thank you for this topic, I have had itchiness for a couple of years but never thought it could be as a result of the stroke I had in 2018, I have just had another and pins and needles have joined in now. All over including my head including any where with hair. I have a lot of it including a beard. I can include this when I get to see someone about treatment. I will follow this and if I get some treatment that helps I will post it. Best wishes to you and yours. Allan

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Hi I suffered real bad with pins/needles on my affected left side hand and foot I found hot water bottle helped and teddy bear fleece bedding also pain relief after talking to my doctor bedsocks too


Hi @BernadetteC ,

We are using plenty of creams and moisturisers.


Hi @Allan_4389

Hope you get some joy with your itchiness.
It seems moisturisers may help.

With Mum it seems there are certain triggers which result in the episode of itchiness. But since she cannot communicate, we never know what causes it. Perhaps you may want to see if there are triggers for you.

Also, as @sharonjd69 says, hot water bottles and bed socks might also help.


Aveeno! Just remembered the name of the moisturiser
I had the spray one as it was easier to do my back with.
Sorry its taken so long to reply
I hope things are improving for you All?:heart:

Hi @BernadetteC - thank you. I will get this for Mum. :smiley:

Hi and welcome, my affected side has pins and needles with a numb hand and foot, you can literally draw a line down my body half my nose has pins and needles and my mouth feels like I’ve been to the dentist. Putting my arm on something cool helped and rubbing cool cream in also but recently I have been put on pregabalin which has made it easier to use my hand and the pins and needles are not so bad.