Numbness in the hands and feet means there is a lack of touch sensation. Other symptoms can include tingling or burning sensations, sharp pain or weakness of the affected area.
It is a very common problem. There are many causes, including constant pressure on the hands and feet, exposure to cold objects, temporary nerve compression, a nerve injury, excessive drinking, smoking, fatigue, lack of activity and nutritional deficiency of vitamin B12 or magnesium.
At times, numbness in body parts like hands and feet can be due to medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and an underactive thyroid.
Usually, numbness that lasts only a few minutes is not a matter of concern, but consult your doctor if you experience it frequently and for long periods. It can be a symptom of an underlying health issue that requires appropriate treatment.
Suffering from numbness in your hands and feet can be quite discomforting. Fortunately, you can treat the problem easily with simple home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for numbness in the hands and feet.
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.
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.
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.
Note: Avoid high-impact exercises if they cause numbness in your feet and toes.
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.
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.
7. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba, a popular herb used in Ayurveda, can improve blood circulation all over the body. Thus, this herb can help reduce as well as prevent the problem of numbness.
It is available in the market in supplement forms. The general dosage is 40 milligrams, 3 times a day. However, consult your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba as it may interfere with certain medications.
8. Elevate the Affected Part
To reduce numbness in hands and feet due to poor circulation, elevation will also help. Elevate the affected area for several minutes to improve blood circulation. Once the flow of blood to the affected area gets back to normal, numbness will vanish.
You can place your hands and legs on a few pillows to keep them elevated.
9. Eat More Vitamin B Foods
To prevent numbness and tingling sensations in your hands and feet, it is essential to eat foods high in B vitamins, especially B6 and B12. These vitamins are essential for healthy nerve functioning and their deficiency can cause numbness in certain body parts like hands, arms, fingers and legs.
- Include foods high in vitamin B6 and B12 in your diet. Some good choices are fortified cereals, eggs, avocados, bananas, meats, beans, fish, oatmeal, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, seeds and dried fruits.
- You can even take a vitamin B-complex supplement twice daily. For the correct dosage and type of supplement, consult your doctor.
10. Increase Magnesium Intake
A low magnesium level in the body is one of the causes of numbness in hands and feet. Magnesium is an essential mineral for smooth functioning of the nervous system and better blood circulation in the body.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods like dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, peanut butter, cold-water fish, soybeans, avocados, bananas, dark chocolate and low-fat yogurt.
- You can also take magnesium supplements, 350 mg daily. However, talk with your doctor to be sure you take the correct dosage.
- If the numbness in your feet is due to staying in one position for a long time, move around slowly to improve blood circulation.
- Avoid remaining in the same position for long periods, especially when watching TV or working at the computer.
- Avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks as they can reduce blood circulation.
- Eat more fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, while avoiding processed and refined foods.
- Drink an ample amount of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration, which can cause poor blood circulation.
- Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products that can overload the nervous system.
- To prevent numbness in your feet, avoid wearing shoes that do not fit well. High heels or shoes that pinch the toes can cause numbness.
- Lose weight to reduce numbness in your feet and toes.