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Hello Donna. I had to create an account just to respond and let you know that you are not alone in your symptoms. I have had a form of neuropathy called Non-Length Dependent Small-Fiber Neuropathy (NLD-SFN) for several years now and one of the symptoms I have are the random individual pin-***** sensations you mention. They can range from a mild annoyance to a very intense deep, almost a hot/searing-type of needle-like focused sensation.

From what my neurologist at Washington Univeristy here in St. Louis has told me, these are random firings of dead/damaged small-fiber nerves (c and a-delta types of fibers) similar to "phantom nerve pain" that amputees have. The damaged nerve is firing a signals saying "I'm damaged, there must be an injury," and normally those signals are blocked over time, but sometimes a signal can "break through" and cause the symptoms I (or we) feel.

If possible, I would recommend seeing a neurologist or simply someone who can test you for small-fiber neuropathy. The gold-standard test for this form of neuropathy is a skin-punch biopsy because damage to these fine nerve fibers cannot be detected with EMGs or nerve conduction tests. The biopsy is relatively painless procedure where they remove a patch of skin about the diameter of a pencil eraser from a few places on your body and then count the number of nerve fibers present. If the density is too low or they see strange nerve growth, they will diagnose you with neuropathy of the small nerve fibers. Depending on where the damage is worst, they can normally determine the pattern of progression as well.

I hope this info will help and that you don't feel alone in your symptoms. Best of luck to you and I hope you find relief from your suffering.

SFN Warrior

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