Numbness of the hands and feet

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Numbness in the hands and feet can be mild and temporary and eventually heals on its own, but sometimes the numbness can be symptoms of a more serious condition. Numbness is an unusual sensation felt in any area of the body but it usually affects the hands and feet, and sometimes also the arms and legs can be affected. Numbness can also be experienced around the mouth. The numbing sensation ranges from a tingling feeling, pins and needles sensation or complete lack of physical response to outside stimulus.

Numbness of the hands is harmless and temporary such as in cases when a finger is exposed to extremely cold environments. It will fell numb or tingly in the affected area. Always bear in mind that numbness causes burning sensation, sharp pain or weakness of the legs, arms and facial muscles.

Causes

  • Constant pressure placed on the hand and feet
  • Temporary compression of the nerve
  • Exposure to cold objects
    Numbness
    Numbness of the hands is harmless and temporary such as in cases when a finger is exposed to extremely cold environments.
  • Lack of activity
  • A nerve injury
  • Excessive drinking and smoking
  • Fatigue
  • Deficiency in nutrition such as vitamin B12 or magnesium
  • Caused by condition such as diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome and an underactive thyroid
  • Toxins, insect bites, viral infections such as shingles, alcoholism and radiation therapy

Treatment

  • Apply a warm compress on the affected area to help promote proper circulation of blood in the numb area. It also relaxes the muscles and nerves in the area. Soak a wash cloth in warm water, wring out excess water and then place it on the affected area for at least 5-7 minutes several times every day until the numbness disappears. Another option is to encourage the individual to take a warm shower or use a heating pad to help lessen discomfort.
  • Massage the hands and feet when there is numbness of the area to help increase the flow of blood and lessen the numbness. It also helps in stimulating the nerves and muscles for proper functioning. Apply warm olive oil, mustard or coconut oil in the palm and then apply on the numb area. Using the fingers, massage the area in a circular motion for at least 5 minutes at several times as needed.
  • Perform simple exercises to help increase blood circulation and oxygen to all areas of the body as well as minimize numbness and tingling sensations in any areas in the body such as the hands and feet. Perform foot and hand exercises at least 15 minutes such as exercising the wrist, arms, hand and legs by performing curls and stretches. Aerobic exercises can be performed for at least 30 minutes at 5 days every week. Regularly walking, bicycling, swimming and jogging helps increase circulation of blood in the area. Always stretch before the workouts and wear proper exercise shoes and equipment.
  • Using Epsom salt helps lessen numbness of the hands and feet. Epsom salt works by increasing the circulation of blood in the area and minimizes the numbness and prevents them from recurring. In a small tub filled with warm water, add ½ cup of Epsom salt and mix well until fully dissolved. Soak the affected areas in the solution for at least 10 minutes at several times a week.

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  • All firstaidtrainingclass.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.