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There's actually a name for that prickly, pins and needles sensation that can happen in your extremities -- it's called paresthesia. It happens when pressure is placed on a nerve, which disrupts its passageway to the brain. While it's usually short-lived, it can be seriously annoying -- especially when prickly feet can stop you from getting up and walking around. Get rid of the sensation and talk to your doctor if the pins and needles won't go away or happen frequently.
Reposition yourself to remove whatever pressure is causing the prickly, fallen asleep feeling. This could be a seating or sleeping position, staying in the same position for too long or even a dog or cat sitting on your lap and causing pressure.
Place your legs in front of you and move your foot in a circular motion, suggests Rachel C. Vreeman, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in an article for Health.com. This should help improve circulation to remove that sleepy feeling from your foot.
Grasp your foot and gently massage the affected area if rotating your feet doesn't seem to help. This can also help stimulate circulation to regain feeling.
Wait a few minutes before getting up and walking. Trying to walk when your foot is asleep can cause you to get tripped up, thanks to a lack of feeling in your feet and a change in your overall balance.
Talk to your doctor if feeling doesn't come back almost instantaneously or if you get pins and needles frequently even when you're not putting pressure on parts of the leg. This could be a sign of a nerve issue that may require medical attention, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- Switch positions often when in a seated position. This can help avoid that prickly feeling in the first place.