Paresthesia (paraesthesia in British) is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of the skin with no apparent physical cause, more generally known as the feeling of pins and needles. Transient paresthesia is usually caused by inadvertent pressure on a superficial nerve, and disappears gradually as the pressure is relieved. Other kinds of paresthesia, however, can be chronic and painful, and can come from a wide variety of sources.
Chronic paresthesia indicates a problem with the functioning of nerve cells, or neurons, in the central nervous system. This malfunction, which is especially common in older individuals, is often the result of poor circulation in the limbs, or may be caused by atherosclerosis
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