Pinprick test

Circulatory System
Image by kevin813 via Flickr

Pinprick test is done for detecting a cutaneous pain on a person’s body and to differentiate the kind of sensation from the pressure stimuli. Pinprick test is done with the help of a pin or a needle. The test is done by applying the needle or the pin on the skin area where the person’s eyesight cannot reach. While using the pin on the skin the doctors take care to prevent the penetration of the needle to the dermis. Before using needle or pin on the skin, they are nicely sterilized to avoid infection. The pins are mostly discarded after the performed test.

Through a pinpricking the patient gets a tingling sensation on the parts where the pinprick test is done. Mainly the pinprick test is done on the fingers, toes, legs, etc. The tingling sensation is felt in the numbed part of the body due to the lack of blood circulation. The tingling occurred due to the return of the blood circulation after its temporary impairment on pins in a state of nervous anticipation. The motivation of pinpricking is to evaluate the sensation of a touch on the skin as well as on the nerves.

The pinprick test is done not only to find whether the person can feel the sensation, but also to find whether he/she can localize the area touched by the pin or needle. During this test the patient’s eye remains close to confirm that he is not recognizing the place touched without feeling it. The pin is placed in different area of body to recognize the sensibility. During the test the pin should not be very fine because too fine needle is less sensitive on the skin and as because the nerve plexus is wide the fine point of needle cannot be felt. Very fine needle may also penetrate the dermis.

The advantage of pinprick test is that it is a very useful way to localize a place of pain. The test creates a stimulation of the neural ‘centre surround’ field effect that is necessary for the patient. Pinprick test is very useful and effective test for the patient suffering in such problems.

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