pine needle paralysis

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/6/2009 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   


This is the first time I have posted anything, so I am probably doing something wrong.


I just had a weird health experience. Starting about 2-3 months ago I started getting a weird tingling in my arms, hands, legs and feet. Like you get when you sit on them and they "fall asleep". I also had gotten glasses just about 6 weeks ago also. I had a problem with that also, because the prescription seemed to have kept changing. The second optometrist I went to wanted me to get a health checkup to rule out diabetes. I did some research on the internet about the tingling and numbness, and some of the possibilities were diabetes, MS, vitamin B12 deficiency. This tingling was kind of really starting to bug me, so I set up a doctor’s appointment for a general checkup and to explain the weird tingling symptoms. I’m 55 and I hadn’t been to a doctor in 5 years and probably10 to15 years before that. The last time was just for a general checkup, I had turned 50 and I guess I thought it would be a good idea. The doctor I set up the appointment with is a doctor that took over the practice of the other doctor I went to before. They are internal medicine doctors. I have spent more on my dog at the Vet in the last 4 years than I have ever spent on my self ever in 55 years. So if  I go to a doctor, then it must be important. They set up an appointment for 2 weeks in the future. Just about that time I had gotten my 2nd set of glasses. I came home after dark, like the second day I had them and I say to myself. "I haven't seen stars in 15 years, I wonder what they look like?" So I tip my head back and look at the stars, and I blacked out. Not bad, I didn't hit the ground. OK, this is not normal!! Over the next 2 weeks waiting for the doctor visit, the tingling gets really bad and starts to even hurt to the point of sharp shooting pains. Arms, hands, legs, and feet are affected. I would tap my hand and I would have this very intense shooting tingling feeling shoot up my arm. I blacked out a couple more times, when I tilt my head way back. That happens when I have to look thru the bottom of the bifocals when something is above me. Very weird.


OK, so I have the checkup. She does the usual poking and prodding; she takes a long time listening to something about my breathing. Asked a bunch of questions. One being had I been shuffling and had I had a problem with coordination. Well...I had been. So she assigned all these tests. Blood, a brain scan, chest x-ray, and more. I, of course thought this very extreme. But my body was really freaking out with pain, so I agreed to do them. Did the blood test, and a week later did the MRI, x-ray, and more. During that week things got really extreme, I lost all feeling in my right hand, right foot and the pain was getting very distracting. I was actually getting kind of worried. I was going to call the doctor and tell her that things were getting really bad. And the follow up appointment was still 2 more weeks away.


OK here is the really weird part; the evening after the tests, the hands and feet are numb, lots of pain. I'm taking off my socks and my hand brushes the bottom of my foot. I feel something in my heel. I look, and my comment to myself is "Oh my god, my foot is so numb that I don't feel a nail sticking in the bottom of my foot!!!" I go get my Swiss army knife and go into the bathroom. There is no pain, actually no feeling at all. I cut out some skin around it and take the tweezers and pull it out. I was about 3/4" inch long. My first thought as to what it was, is a pine needle. I look at it and throw it towards the trash, not paying to much attention. I get up and take a couple steps, and freeze in my tracks. All the pain, tingling and numbness had gone away, just like that. "NO WAY!!!!!!" It couldn't have been that. But it was. Really, really weird. I waited a day to call the doctor, she hadn't seen the tests yet, and hasn’t called me back yet. She said also very weird. It makes sense, that it would be a pine needle, occasionally on Sunday mornings I go down the driveway to get the Sunday paper, without shoes on and there is a pine tree there. That’s the only time I can think that I don't have any shoes on. Can't believe this went on for 2-3 months. Weird. Anyway all seems good. I haven’t spoken with the doctor yet about the tests, just cost me a bunch, to pay for the deductible, and really cost Blue Cross a lot. I think the MRI was $3,000.00 by it self. So that is my weird story of the day. Any body have any ideas. The pine needle was pushing in my heel directly under where the full weight of my leg bone comes down. I can’t find it yet, because when I flicked it towards the trash, I wasn’t paying any attention to where it was going. So I’m not 100% sure it was a pine needle, but I’m 98% convinced. Any body have feed back on how anything like that could cause so much disruption in my nervous system.


Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 9/6/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
How strange.... The only thing I could say is you were allergic to it.


White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 9/6/2009 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I will be curious to see how your test turn out! Especially your MRI and the like! Also is the pain in your arms also gone or just your legs and feet? Anyway Welcome to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum!

Good Luck to You

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 9/6/2009 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Please be good to yourself and do follow up on the tests that were done. Your symptoms could have been caused by normal-pressure hydrocephalus, a spinal cord problem or any number of serious but easily treated conditions. Just in case the pine needle was a coincidence, make sure your tests were okay.

"Pine needle paralysis" - a new syndrome discovered, lol.
 Ulcerative colitis forum co-moderator
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001. Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006. Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is  my "forever" gift from steroids.
Chronic joint/connective tissue/muscle pain; TKR 05/09 
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 9/6/2009 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I do concur that you need to follow up with your doctor about your tests.

At the same time though it is possible that whatever it was embedded in your foot could have caused the problem. While it may have been a type of allergic reaction my first thought is that it the object was causing a nerve disruption by impacting directly on a nerve ending in your foot.

While my knowledge of nerves is somewhat limited, based more on martial arts applications than anything else, I do know that there are a lot of nerve ending in the hands and feet. Because of this acupuncture and acupressure therapy is often centered on or include the hands/and or feet even though the "problem" is elsewhere in the body. (If you have ever had a good foot or hand massage and can recall how the rest of your body felt then you have an idea of what I am talking about.)
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 9/7/2009 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Reminds me a bit of the guy who had a roofing nail in his head and did not know it. It caused all kinds of weird symptoms.
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