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Numbness in Hands and Feet

Numbness in one or both hands describes a loss of sensation or feeling in your hand or fingers. Often, hand numbness may be accompanied by other changes, such as a pins-and-needles sensation, burning or tingling. Your arm, hand or fingers may feel clumsy or weak.

Numbness can occur along a single nerve in one hand, or it may occur symmetrically in both hands.

Hand numbness is usually caused by damage, irritation or compression of one of the nerves or a branch of one of the nerves in your arm and wrist.

Diseases affecting the peripheral nerves, such as diabetes, also can cause numbness, although with diabetes similar symptoms usually occur first in your feet.

In very uncommon instances, numbness can be caused by problems in your brain or spinal cord, although in such cases arm or hand weakness or loss of function also occurs. Numbness alone is only rarely associated with potentially life-threatening disorders, such as strokes or tumors.

Your doctor will need detailed information about your symptoms to diagnose the cause of your numbness. A variety of tests may be needed to confirm the cause before appropriate treatment can begin.

Possible causes of numbness in one or both of your hands include:

    Brachial plexus injury
    Carpal tunnel syndrome (cubital tunnel syndrome)
    Ganglion cyst
    Guillain-Barre syndrome
    Multiple sclerosis
    Paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system
    Peripheral neuropathy
    Raynaud's disease
    Side effects of chemotherapy drugs
    Sjogren's syndrome
    Type 2 diabetes
    Ulnar nerve compression
    Vitamin B-12 deficiency

1. Warm Compress

The first thing you need to do is apply a warm compress on the affected area. It will help increase blood supply to the numb area. Moreover, it will relax the muscles and nerves in the area.

    Dip a washcloth in warm water.
    Wring out the excess, then place it on the affected area for 5 to 7 minutes.
    Repeat several times until the numbness is gone.
You can also enjoy a warm shower or use a heating pad to alleviate discomfort.

2. Massage

Massaging your hands and feet when numbness occurs is another easy way to deal with this problem. It increases blood circulation, which in turn lessens numbness. Moreover, it helps stimulate the nerves and muscles, thereby improving their overall functioning.

    Put some warm olive, coconut or mustard oil on your palm.
    Apply it on the numb area.
    Massage in circular motions with firm fingers for at least 5 minutes.
    Repeat as needed.

3. Exercise

Exercise can improve blood circulation and oxygen to all parts of the body, thus preventing numbness and tingling sensations anywhere in the body, including your hands and feet. Moreover, regular exercise improves mobility and prevents many health problems.

    Do simple foot and hand exercises for 15 minutes daily in the morning. Also, during intervals at work, exercise your arms, wrists, hands and legs by doing curls and stretches.
    Cardiovascular workouts and aerobic exercises for 30 minutes, 5 days a week also will help a lot.
    Enjoy walking, bicycling, jogging or swimming on a regular basis to improve blood circulation.

Make sure to stretch well before workouts, and wear appropriate exercise shoes and gear.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin, which helps improve blood flow throughout your body. In addition, its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce pain and discomfort in the affected area.

    Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of milk. Heat it over a low flame. Add a little honey and drink it once daily to improve circulation.
    You can also massage the affected area with a paste prepared with turmeric power and water for a few minutes.
    If you have poor circulation, you can take turmeric supplements daily. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement.

5. Epsom Salt

One of the most common home remedies to reduce numbness is to soak your feet in a tub of warm water with Epsom salt. The magnesium sulfate crystals can help raise magnesium levels in the body and improve blood circulation. Adequate circulation can help reduce numbness and prevent it from recurring.

    Mix ½ cup of Epsom salt in a small tub filled with warm water.
    Soak your feet in this solution for 10 minutes.
    Repeat this remedy a few times a week.

Note: Those who have diabetes or kidney problems must avoid this remedy.
6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains numerous chemicals and nutrients, including manganese and potassium along with many important B vitamins. Its nutritional properties help improve blood flow to your arms and legs, and thus help treat numbness in hands and feet. Experts recommend taking 2 to 4 grams of cinnamon powder daily for good blood circulation.

    Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a glass of warm water. Drink it once daily.
    Another option is to mix together 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and honey and have it daily in the morning for a few weeks.


Numbness in Hands and Feet