How to Prevent Numbness in Arms and Hands

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 50,199
    Physical therapist Trish Muse of Body Productions, Inc., shows a stretch to keep your hands and arms from getting numb.

    Trish Muse: Hi, I am Trish Muse with Body Productions, Inc. I am a Physical Therapist. Today, I am going to show you how to avoid workplace injuries. Next, I will show you one stretch that you can do to alleviate any numbness or tingling that you might experience in your arms. Often times, when we have a rounded shoulder posture we tend to close off the structures in our neck and our chest. Tight muscles tend to compress nerves and blood vessels. When they get compressed, oxygen isn't delivered to the working body parts and the nerves get really cramped and compressed and give you the sensation of numbness or tingling pins and needles or like a sensation of your arm falling asleep.

    So, if you know that you do not have any other neurological conditions or problems and simply muscular tightness, I will show you a stretch that you can do to alleviate the numbness and tingling. What you want to do is extend your arm so that you can place your fingers going towards the floor so at downward position with your palm completely against the wall. If you are very tight, you are going to initially feel that stretch in your wrist and through your forearm, make sure that your elbow is straight so you are going to feel the stretch through your forearm and even into your bicep, the upper part of your arm.

    Next, what you want to do is make sure that your shoulder is at a 90 degree angle then turn away from the outstretched arm and then simply let your head or neck go backwards to your tolerance. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat it 3-5 times on each side. Initially, this stretch maybe very uncomfortable for you, you might not be able to hold the stretch for the full 20-30 seconds. Just hold it to your tolerance, maybe it's only five seconds or ten seconds and then just build the duration of the stretch as you become more accustomed to it. You can do this several times a day particularly, if you spend extensive amount of time on the computer or holding the phone towards your ear. I think this will help you find some relief.

    Next, I am going to show you a stretch that will help you alleviate some of the pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.