Managing Numbness & Tingling with Physical Therapy
Causes of Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling are mainly caused by damage or compression of nerves. You may get numbness or tingling from various causes, including everyday activities. This sensation can be caused when there is increased pressure on your nerves. You would have noticed that sitting or standing in one position for an extended period or lying on your arms can cause numbness. Repeated movement in an unnatural position can also cause tingling. Some specific medications or therapies, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, are known to cause numbness and tingling.
Further, lack of essential micronutrients like vitamin B-12, injuries to different body parts, and diseases such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Diabetes can cause it. In some cases, this can also be symptoms of some neurological conditions. Now that we know that many factors can cause numbness and tingling, we are better equipped to handle the same.
Symptoms of Numbness and Tingling
Have you ever woken up with your hands feeling numb? Or sat in one position for a long time without moving and felt numbness in the leg? These are some of the most obvious symptoms of numbness and tingling. Unlike other physiological ailments, symptoms of this condition are more obvious since you can feel it immediately. You are also likely to face numbness or tingling when you get a sudden injury.
The Role of Physical Therapy in Treating Numbness and Tingling
Have you ever felt a sudden prickling sensation or felt that parts of your body just went to sleep? This is what is commonly referred to as numbness and tingling. So, what is causing it? Is it dangerous? How can you get it treated? Well, physiotherapy is the answer to reducing and overcoming symptoms of numbness and tingling.
Treatment for Numbness and Tingling
Based on the severity of numbness and tingling that you experience, a physiotherapist is likely to suggest one or more of the following treatments.
While different medications can help you relieve the symptoms of numbness and tingling, it is best to identify their cause before getting on them. A physiotherapist can tell you the exact cause of your numbness and tingling, based on which medications can vary. Consume the medication as advised by the expert.
If you are coping with regular symptoms of numbness and tingling, physiotherapy is the best method to bring some relief. Several exercises have been proven effective in countering this disease, including hamstring stretches, side leg raise, and more. Additionally, massage therapy and stretching routines are also proven to have a positive impact on issues surrounding numbness. Specific treatment methods like nerve gliding sequence and electrotherapy are also widely used. These physiotherapy techniques help loosen your muscles and reduce tension on your nerves.
In simple terms, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy uses low-voltage electric currents to treat conditions like numbness and tingling. But don't worry, expert physiotherapists oversee the treatment and ensure the right amounts of current are applied in the required areas. The electric current is targeted at nerve cells to block the transmission of pain signals, leading to a change in your perception of pain and providing relief.
If your symptoms of numbness and tingling persist, it is best to visit an expert physiotherapist. Suppose the diagnosis confirms a neurological condition as the cause of numbness. In that case, the expert will likely recommend surgery that can provide long-term relief by dealing with the condition and, thus, the symptoms. A Nerve decompression surgery, for example, is an effective method by which numbness and tingling can be treated.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Numbness and Tingling
We know that numbness and tingling are caused by various physiological and sometimes neurological factors. Physiotherapy helps eliminate the underlying problems that create numbness over time. This is done through exercise routines carried out meticulously with the assistance of experts. Other physiotherapy techniques, such as electrotherapy and massage therapy, have proven to be effective in relieving symptoms of numbness and tingling.
Types of Physical Therapy for Numbness and Tingling
Physical therapy provides many options to help you cope with numbness and tingling.
Nerve gliding exercises
Nerve gliding exercises effectively relieve pain, tension, and tightness in your nerves and ease their movement. This is especially useful to help relax the ulnar nerve, which transmits electrical signals to the hand, palm, and fingers muscles. There are different types of nerve gliding exercises, including Median nerve glide, Ulnar nerve glide, and Radial nerve glide, which an expert physiotherapist will recommend upon diagnosing the cause of your numbness and tingling. These are usually exercises that can be performed at home without direct assistance.
Soft tissue mobilization
Soft tissue mobilization is a well-known physiotherapy technique that effectively reduces tightness and rigidness in your muscle tissues. If you experience muscle tension due to workouts, injuries, or underlying conditions, this technique helps ease it. While STM is mainly used to treat muscle strains or sprains, it also helps relieve the numbness and tingling that come from it. This technique involves pushing and pulling ligaments and tendons in specific ways that contribute to pain relief, but leave that to our experts at Physiotattva!
Electrical stimulation works straightforwardly. If you are facing numbness or tingling, your nerves are likely facing some damage or distress. Once an expert physiotherapist confirms this, electrical stimulation is applied to the required nerves to create a repairing effect and provide relief! Your physiotherapist will recommend one or many of the different ways in which electrical stimulation can be applied.
Ultrasound therapy has proven to be an effective method to help with nerve regeneration, which helps reduce symptoms of numbness and tingling. It is a common therapy that uses sound waves that enter soft tissues and helps relieve pain, treat injuries or spasms, and improve circulation and healing. Based on the cause of your numbness and tingling, ultrasound can be a powerful method to counter it.
Stretching and strengthening exercises
The best way to relieve symptoms of numbness and tingling is by allowing your nerves to relax, removing pressure, and improving circulation. There is no simpler means to achieve this than through stretching and strengthening exercises! Aerobic exercises like swimming, jogging, or cycling can prevent numbness, while balance training exercises like leg or calf raise are also effective. Further, stretching and strengthening exercises promote better overall fitness, thus reducing the chances of contracting issues that lead to numbness and tingling.
What You Can Expect During a Physical Therapy Session
A physiotherapist is a professional with expertise in treating diverse physiological ailments. When you consult a physiotherapist, they will guide you through your recovery journey from numbness and tingling. An expert at Physiotattva would take you through an examination process to better understand your struggles by assessing your strength, range of motion flexibility, etc. After that, they will provide a detailed diagnosis. Based on this, the expert will discuss the treatment options best suited to your needs and capabilities. They will then actively assist you on the road to recovery.
Risk Factors for Numbness and Tingling
While numbness and tingling are widespread and usually triggered by staying or moving in unnatural positions, prolonged symptoms of numbness and tingling might be due to various underlying neurological or physiological conditions such as - Carpal tunnel syndrome, Diabetes, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, Seizures, Stroke, Underactive thyroid and more. It is best to consult with a physiotherapist if symptoms persist, just to be sure!
Overcome Numbness and Tingling with Physical Therapy
If you’re going through prolonged episodes of numbness, know that our physical therapy offers various exercise techniques and treatment modalities to provide long-term relief. Our experts at Physiotattva are equipped to assist you in your journey toward recovery by guiding you through a personalized treatment plan. If you currently face numbness and tingling issues, call us at +91 89510 47001.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes numbness and tingling sensations?
Numbness and tingling sensations can be caused by one or more of the following:
- Prolonged static positioning can have adverse effects on the body
- Moving your arm or leg in an unnatural position for too long
- Specific medications or therapy like radiation therapy or chemotherapy
- Lack of essential micro-nutrients like Vitamin B-12
- Underlying conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Diabetes
What is the best treatment for tingling and numbness?
Possible treatment options for tingling and numbness include
- Physical therapy
- TENS therapy
Can physical therapy help with numbness and tingling?
Yes, physical therapy has proven to be an efficient way to deal with symptoms of numbness and tingling. With a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises and other modes of physiotherapy like massage or electrical stimulation, physiotherapy can help bring relief.
What is the typical timeline for observing results from physical therapy in alleviating numbness and tingling sensations?
The duration of recovery from numbness and tingling can vary, ranging from a few days to several weeks, depending on the underlying cause of the symptoms.
What types of physical therapy are effective for managing numbness and tingling?
Aerobic exercises, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, massage therapy, electric stimulation. TENS therapy is a standard physiotherapy technique that can help against numbness and tingling.