Physical Therapy Exercises for Numbness in Leg

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Numbness and tingling in the legs can be a symptom of a few different things. One of the main reasons is related to the spine and its alignment. The spinal cord is the main way that nerves in the brain are able to control what is going on in the legs. Because of this, any pinched nerves and/or blood vessels along the way can prevent it from fully being able to do its job. Pinched nerves prevent the nerve signal from communicating clearly. Pinched blood vessels can starve the nerve and muscle cells of oxygen, preventing the message from being effectively communicated or followed. The most common place in the body where this happened was in the lower back. A pinch in the pelvic area can block both blood flow and nerve signal to a leg, causing a symptom called sciatica. This can be treated rather easily with physical therapy. Here is a look at some of the popular exercises to help relax this portion of the body:

Butterfly Stretch
This opens up the hip flexors. A butterfly stretch, also called the cobblers pose is similar to sitting cross legged, except that the soles of the feet are touching one another. The feet are pulled in as far as possible, and you can flap your wings like a butterfly to deepen the stretch, up until your knees can touch the floor and your feet are pulled all the way in to your body.

Lunges
A lunge is an active stretch. It requires dropping down so that one side of your body has your foot in front, in a chair sitting position. The second foot is straight and behind you. The best way to do this is to make it active, by alternating legs, and going up and down like you are doing squats. If you are physically compromised in some way, you probably want to go slowly and use something to balance yourself.

Cat and Cobra
This is a pair of yoga stretches that goes well together. Lay on your stomach on the floor. Prop yourself up on your straightened arms, arching your back, head and neck as you look up. Hold and relax into the stretch. The cat has you pull your knees in to your chest, round your back up to the sky and tuck your head down. Again, hold the pose, breathe and relax into the stretch.

Hamstring Stretches
The hamstrings are the long muscles that begin at the top of your butt and follow all the way down to the back of your knees. They are one of the easiest to stretch out with regular practice. This can include touching your toes and sitting v poses.

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