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Numbness and Tingling with Arthritis: The Subtle Signs You Might Be Ignoring


The Arthritis Foundation estimates that over twenty-five million people have Arthritis in the U.S, with an estimated fifty to seventy percent of those experiencing numbness or tingling in their hands and feet. While symptoms vary depending on the type of Arthritis you have (i.e., osteoarthritis), sufferers need to be aware of these common sensations so they can seek medical action as soon as possible if need be. 

Can Arthritis Cause Numbness and Tingling? 

Arthritis can cause numbness and tingle in the extremities, which is typically a symptom of Arthritis. This is because numbness and tingling are typically brought about by damage to nerve tissue, which reduces a person's ability to sense where their limbs are located--a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lupus erythematosus are the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy.

Other Conditions Related to Numbness and Tingling

Besides Arthritis, many other factors may be causing this sensation; for example, it could also be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome or diabetic neuropathy. If you experience these symptoms along with joint pain-especially knee or hip pain-or stiffness in your neck, back, hands, or feet (as well as morning stiffness), then Arthritis might be to blame. 

Other potential causes include nerve impingement caused by a tumor or herniated disk, multiple sclerosis (M.S.), stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), spinal cord injury/disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

For people who have numbness or tingling in their hands/feet for an extended period, it is essential to see a physician as soon as possible to rule out any potential conditions such as diabetic nerve pain. As well, those with Arthritis should get treatment to help ease symptoms and prevent the progression of other arthritis-related health problems.  

Exercises Routines to Ease Numbness And Tingling

The general feeling of numbness can be relieved by taking some time out for reflexology massage therapy which has been shown to alleviate these sensations by increasing blood flow to muscles and joints. It would be best if you also tried exercise routines depending on what condition is causing them. These exercises include:

  • Arthritis: tightening and releasing the muscles of your hands, arms and shoulders. Invest time into stretching or yoga exercises - they are good for your body and great for stress relief.
  • Diabetic nerve pain: gently pressing on pressure points behind your knees or outside of elbows. Be careful not to press too hard as this may aggravate symptoms such as numbness in the fingers or toes (if you have diabetes).

Avoid activities that cause you pain, make sure you're getting enough sleep, and stay hydrated throughout the day with water or other non-caffeinated drinks like herbal tea.

Treatment for Numbness and Tingling 

Treatment will depend on the underlying condition; however, some treatments could include:

  • Medication

Medications such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants can be prescribed to help manage this sensation. Medications injected into the affected area may provide some relief for a short period, but relieving symptoms is not usually permanent and can lead to serious side effects if used over long periods.

  • Surgery

If you have diabetes, then nerve decompression surgery or carpal tunnel release surgery might be recommended by your doctor as an option for treatment to relieve pressure on nerves.

  • Physical therapy 

A therapy such as ultrasound treatment or laser treatment; or acupuncture can treat numbness and tingling. Nerve damage causes the sensation to be felt in certain areas of the body where there is no feeling. Physical treatment can help relieve this problem by sending small pulses through electrodes that stimulate the nerves to block pain signals from being sent to your brain. 

  • Numbing cream

Numbing cream might also relieve any pain experienced as it works on contact points such as where skin meets bone or other sensitive areas. 

Other treatment options

Other treatment options for this condition include:

  • Changing your walking style to avoid putting pressure on your joints
  • Using a cane to help support you when walking
  • Using warm compresses or heat pads on the affected area of your body for relief. 

It's essential to speak with your doctor about the possible causes of these symptoms, so you have an accurate diagnosis and understanding of how best to treat them. 

Numbness and tingling can be a result of an injury or condition that is not life-threatening. If it persists for more than two weeks, contact your physician immediately. The sooner this condition is treated, the better the chance of recovery without long-term complications arising from nerve damage. 

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