Pins and needles - constant or intermittent in MS?

Hi All

Hope you are all having a good week so far .

I have had pins and needles back again, especially in my left foot, but also in my right. The pins and needles come on when walking and stay for up to an hour after the walk. The ‘buzz’ feeling in my foot is more or less constant but not the pins and needles bit.

Today when walking I noticed the pins and needles in my left hand as well, and then when back home my arms felt really heavy and not working properly when trying to type something (very unusual as I can usually type well, as I was previously a touch typist. They are better now, just a bit achy like strained muscles.

My friend who has been recently diagnosed herself with RRMS said the pins and needles have to be constant to be MS, but I have read that they can come and go, and as with all other neuro symptoms can be different for everyone.

My question is: do pins and needles have to be constant over a period of time to be an ms symptom or can intermittent pins and needles be a symptom also?

oh, and ps. Come on Chelsea !!!

I firstly had numb/cold and prickly feeling then after a month it changed to a constant trembling, buzzing feeling in my legs. It was never as bad as pins and needles - that can be really painful when it comes round, dont think I could have put up with that!

My symptoms of pins and needles come and go. I am new to all of us this but I think my pins and needles come on when I am having a proper relapse or when I am just having a flare up ( like when I am due on, tired, ill , that kind of thing). I don’t get mine all the time. I haven’t had them for maybe a year even.

Difficult question!

Basically, if you are having a relapse including pins & needles then they would be there all the time, but how much you notice them would vary. Most people notice sensory symptoms more in the evening when there is less distraction (the brain can only concentrate on a limited number of things!), but when they are really busy and distracted, they might not notice them at all.

If you aren’t relapsing and the pins & needles are an old symptom, then they might come and go depending on what you’re doing, e.g. heat & exercise can exacerbate symptoms, or if you’ve just overdone things (e.g.).

Saying that(!), my burning lower left leg & foot comes and goes rather randomly, but when it happens, it hangs around for probably at least 6-12 hours. It was part of my second relapse, 14 years ago. When it first happened, it was burning 24/7 for at least 3 months.

Saying that x 2(!), there has definitely been at least one person on here who was diagnosed with MS but only had sensory symptoms after exercising, no nothing is set in stone.

I can’t really comment on PPMS though - it may be very different.

Hth, although I think probably not!

Karen x

Thank you all for your quick replies

Karen ~ I have a lot of sensory symptoms and they are definately worse after exercise etc and at rest, probably like you say, because they are more noticeable then!

I’m beginning to see that ms can be very very different for different people which is obviously one of the reasons it is so hard to diagnose.

I’m very much in limbo but am finding this forum a great deal of help.

Thank you all very much.

Hi all,

I also suffer with pins and needles to the point that my hands go numb! my right is worse than my left! It will wake me in the night and its sore…I am clinging onto a piece of wood as I type this, I haven’t suffered from this for one whole month!!! I was advised to keep a diary of any symptom so when I went for my neuro appointment they would have a log of everything. VERY USEFUL… my doc did tell me that this does happen… But it could also have something to do with taking amitriptyline which really does help, and maybe worth asking your doc about it!!!

best of luck.


Hi gvcme,

Did you know you can start a new post, instead of having to tack your question onto an old discussion on the same topic?

You just hit the “new post” button, up near the top left of the forum.

As for your question, I have this all the time - well, not literally all the time, but every day on waking.

I’ve always assumed it to be the MS, as that seems the logical explanation, considering I know I have it.

I suppose, strictly speaking, you should never assume anything is MS - just in case it wasn’t. But honestly, I’d be up at the doctor’s all the time, boring her to death, and myself too, if I didn’t make at least some assumptions that things are MS-related.



Hi Clare I know feeling all too well, I too have had the diagnosis this week, so feeling a bit raw. I have the constant buzz in legs, feet and hands. I get pins and needles when I walk (which isn’t that far at the moment), also get it as others have said when resting so notice it more. The past week for no apparent reason have been getting it in hand and fingers and forearm, so much so I told GP yesterday I wanted to chop right arm off as that is the worst one. I too take amitriptolyne which I do find helps. I take them around 8 o’clock at night as I find is best for me. Will admit some nights I am awake but think it depends on what I’ve done during the day. I think this site is fab, my doc recommended it also. Sarah xx

For the last 2 day’s I’ve had severe pins and needles down both arms, right leg and face feels like something crawling over me, was diagnosed with remitting MS 4 year’s ago and I was wondering if anyone knows if it sounds like I’m having a relapse thanks

Hi. I’m very new to all of this and I’m currently awaiting a neorology appointment which could be months away. For about 7 weeks now I’ve been having pins and needles in my feet (well more my toes) sometimes tingling in my fingers and feeling of a feather or something crawling over my feet. Doctor didn’t seem too bothered but as my thyroid and vitamin b12 blood tests came back ok he has referred me. The feelings went away for just over a week but came back today but slightly different areas. More in my heels than under my toes. Also as I’m typing my fingertip is numb. Starting to get really worries. I’m 42. Anyone else started with similar symptoms? I am a worrier anyway but I’m driving myself nuts. Thanks

Hi, I get the pins and needles in my feet more when walking. The rest of the time it’s more like an annoying buzzing feeling. Occasionally my left hand feels like it’s full of flying insects, very wierd feeling! Main symptom however (apart from the terrible fatigue) is severe burning and numbness in right thigh even when resting. Currently in limbo after numerous tests.