I'm trying to look for this word that describes this sensation that you sometimes get on your body most commonly on the lower limbs when it's stayed in the same position or put under pressure for a lengthy period of time. The sensation feels like a cramp in a sense that it has that paralysing effect, but it is not painful at all unlike a cramp. It feels like a mass of tingles in comparison for a lack of a better word, but it doesn't have that sensation of many small sharp points pushing into it like tingles. It goes away on its own after a couple of minutes, while unpleasant it's not painful whatsoever. What do you call this sensation?

2 Answers 2


The sensation is commonly referred to as pins and needles:

a tingling sensation in a limb recovering from numbness.

The medical term is paraesthesia:

Paresthesia (/ˌpærɨsˈθiːziə/ or /ˌpærɨsˈθiːʒə/), spelled paraesthesia in British English, is a sensation of tickling, tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect. It is more generally known as the feeling of "pins and needles" or of a limb "falling asleep".

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    More precisely, first your limb (usually leg/foot) falls asleep, and then you get the pins and needles feeling as it starts "waking up".
    – Marthaª
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:46
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    This is due to the blood supply being cut off and isn't a problem for a short period of time. Feb 15, 2013 at 21:02
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    As T-bone says, it is nerves, not blood.
    – GEdgar
    Feb 16, 2013 at 17:29

if you put pressure on a nerve the signals get blocked, when the pressure is gone the signals start again.
when the nerves are blocked your limb is 'asleep' when it becomes unblocked you say 'my (insert affected limb here) fell asleep.'
the tingle is referred to as 'pins and needles' which doesn't make sense to me 'cause it is not painful like real pins and needles. the tingle is your brain recalibrating your limb like a computer running a diagnostic program on its self.

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