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Tingling (pins and needles) in my arms

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by Edenworcester, May 6, 2010.

  1. Edenworcester

    Edenworcester New Member

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    First post, but been reading the forums for a bit (no registered).

    Currently in my openwater training in the pool and have done 3 sessions.

    Ive noticed that I get pins and needles when i'm underwater. It doesnt happen all the time, and goes when im in the changing room getting dry.
    I think it could be a number of things and wanted advice if anyone else has had the same problem.

    1) Bad fitting BCD - More likely across the front of my shoulders where the main blood supply is (perhaps the weight of the equipment whilst in the water whilst being dragged and on dry land?) - is there a way to know if the bcd you'll invest in will stop this?

    2) Breathing technique - Due to me having asthma, although well controlled, I still find it takes a little bit of effort for every breath, my breathing is also a bit shallow and fast and think this may be a little contribution to the pins and needles feeling? Is there anyway to make the breathing easier in the second stage, and what types of regs make breathing easier when i come to invest in one. Im thinking that it may be due to a cheaper trining reg (scubapro r235 or something like that/ mk2)

    Appreciate your advices, and thoughts if you have had the same.

    Thumbs Up
     
  2. Toria82

    Toria82 Member

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    Hi Eden,

    Welcome to UKD.

    With regards to the pins and needles it could be that the BDC is cutting into your armpit area? Does the BCD feel tight? If so, try adjusting the straps to loosen them off a little and see if that helps. Before investing in one make sure you try them on for fit.

    I have scubapro regs, on my 2nd stage there is a knob you can turn to increase the amount of air flow through the reg. My 2nd stage is as S550 so not sure if there is one on the R235. If there is one give it a go and see if it makes a difference. One thing to remember, breathing normally and breathing with a reg do feel different. If it doesn't make a difference it might be worth getting advice from a doctor as you're asthmatic.

    I'm sure others on here will have advice too :)
     
  3. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    what are you like in the pool with no kit on? could it be an allergic reaction?
     
  4. aquanaut

    aquanaut Well-Known Member

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    The Pins and needles like as been said probably due to tight gear around the shoulders, i did have a touch of this when i bought my wing. Some small adjustments and the problem was resolved in my case.

    The Asthma depends also on what type it is , exercised induced Ect you will am sure know all about it all and i am assuming you saw a Doctor just to make sure things where OK to dive . I found an article in DAN which may be interesting reading for you. www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=22 . Good luck and enjoy the course.
     
  5. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf Well-Known Member

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    While the presuure from your BCD is a possibility, it is unlikley to be so symmetrical on both sides. Sinnce you are experiencing pins and needles in both arms, you have to consider the other cause.

    Sustained rapid breathing can wash out too much blood CO2 and cause respiratory alkalosis. In its milder form - usually due to moderate rapid breathing such as in your case - the only symptoms might be tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
     
  6. Air-Guzzler

    Air-Guzzler Cannot spel and I cannut delet your post :-)

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    Do you suffer form headaches as generally faster breathing rates also lead to CO2 retention not a GP thats steppy's job
     
  7. nicki.howard

    nicki.howard New Member

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    hey, im an asthmatic diver and have struggled with these symptoms too, in and out of the water! i personally think its a symptom of hyperventilating.
    im a physiotherapist, not a doctor, but i solved this by taking my reliever inhaler before i kit up etc and get into the water especially if you get kinda tired doing it.
    ive also tried out lots of different breathing techniques underwater and eventually found something that suits me.
    hope you get it sorted! Thumbs Up
     
  8. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf Well-Known Member

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    No AG it does not. Rapid breathing per se blows off CO2 and reduces the PaCO2 (arterial blood levels of the gas). The small amount of CO2 in the blood is required to keep the respiratory centre stimulated so that we feel the urge to breathe.

    However, shallow breathing can lead to CO2 build-up over a period of time.
     
  9. Edenworcester

    Edenworcester New Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the responses,

    The doctor who tested me for diving says my asthma is fine, just not to dive if i feel unwell 48 hours before, which is fair do's as the requirement for the sport is breathing!

    I will look at lossening the BCD and see if that helps. I do tend to breath fairly shallow and quick, so maybe it is that, I will probably try to relax a bit more and breath deep and slow. I do feel that the regulator is a little 'Tough' to suck air in from, perhaps from my normal breathing point of view or perhaps the regulator, i will look into changing the flow as you suggested on the 2nd stage.

    I appreciate all your help, although not for you howard its good to see im not alone!

    Ill let you know how i get on, bring on the open water!

    Edit: Forgot to add, no headaches, just the tingling (pins and needles feeling) in both arms together at the same time, everything else is fine. and its gone when im changing (although i find scuba really zones me out and im a little bit up in the clouds when ive done it, quite relaxing, you know, like having a nice sleep, weird!)
     
  10. Tricky

    Tricky Member

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    I get pins and needles in my finger tips for about 24/48 hours after a dive.....this is after every dive whether inland, sea or in warmer waters around Australia.

    EXPLAIN THAT!

    It does clear like clockwork, I was thinking it was chill blaines or circulation.
     
  11. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf Well-Known Member

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    Easy. You stick pins and needles into your fingertips after every dive!
     
  12. Edenworcester

    Edenworcester New Member

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    Ok, I had my next session in the pool,

    Same BCD, Same regulators and other equipment. This time I moved the little switch to the + sign on the 2nd stage ad really concentrated on breathing normally. I did not use my inhaler (not required). Now instead of the forcing a breath in and out, I . . .breathed . . normally (but a little deeper then normal on the in breath, and longer on the out breath), nice and light as if i did not have a regulator on. NO PINS AND NEEDLES at all for the entire session not even a slight sensation.

    So it must be the conclusion was breathing technique and increasing the airflow.

    I appreciate all the advices given in previous posts, maybe this might help some people but if it doesn't at least it helped me!

    Next step dry suit orientation and OPEN WATER (4 dives) YAY!
     
  13. Toria82

    Toria82 Member

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    Glad to hear you've got it sorted.

    Good luck with the rest of the dives :thumbup:
     
  14. nicki.howard

    nicki.howard New Member

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    glad to hear you got it sorted! Enjoy your diving!
     

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