Hands or feet asleep? What to do

We’ve all been there. You awaken in the morning and one of your hands is completely numb. It feels dead, heavy, and simply won’t work. Perhaps there’s some tingling as well. Or, you arise from a long dinner or movie and one of your legs feels that way. Then over a few minutes — maybe you shook your hands, stamped your foot — everything goes back to normal. Until the next time. The first time this happened, it might have been worrisome. Now that you know it’s temporary and happens to everyone, it may not bother you. But did you ever wonder why in the world this happens? Read on! When the nerves are not happy When someone complains to me about their hand or leg falling asleep, I reassure them. I usually explain, “The nerves are not happy.” In general, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms called paresthesia are most commonly due to abnormal nerve function. And when this is intermittent, temporary, and related to holding one position for a long time, it’s rarely anything to worry about. The cause in these cases is simply pressure on one or more nerves traveling into the hands or feet. When you remove the pressure (by changing position, for example), the problem goes away. However, many other causes of nerve problems — more than 100, in fact — can cause similar, though more prolonged and persistent, symptoms, as noted below. If you have one of these conditions, you’re far from alone: an estimated 20 million ...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Health Healthy Aging Neurological conditions Source Type: blogs

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