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Physical Therapy Exercises for Numbness in Leg

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Physical Therapy Exercises for Numbness in Leg
Compressed nerves in the lower back can cause numbness and tingling in the legs.

Experiencing tingling and numbness in the leg can be a symptom that something is placing pressure on your nerves. One common cause of leg nerve pain or numbness is a condition known as sciatica, where the disks in the lower back press on your sciatic nerve, which runs from the back down the leg. This can result in pain, tingling, numbness and lost sensation in the nerve. The symptoms of sciatica and other nerve-related conditions can be relieved through regular stretching to keep the surrounding muscles from becoming stiff and tight.

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Knees to Chest

This exercise takes pressure off the nerves in the lower back and legs. While lying on the floor or a bed, slowly draw one knee in toward your chest. Place your hands behind your knee and gently pull the knee in further. You should feel the stretch in your lower back, buttocks and the back portion of your upper thigh. Hold the position for 15 seconds to one minute, then release. You can pull both legs at a time for a variation on the stretch.

Hamstring Stretch

This stretch lengthens the muscles of the back portion of the upper thighs. Begin by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Straighten your right leg and bring it in toward your torso. You may wish to bend your leg slightly at the knee to prevent the knee from locking. Grasp your leg at the back to pull it closer to your torso, feeling the stretch in the back of the leg. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat three times on this leg, deepening the stretch when possible. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Opposition Stretch

Position yourself on your hands and knees, keeping your back straight and your eyes looking forward. Extend your right hand forward, keeping it at shoulder height. Keep your balance as you straighten your left leg behind you. Hold this position for three seconds. Lower the leg and arm and repeat on the opposite side. Alternate for 20 repetitions.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is an all-over yoga stretch that targets the lower back and legs. Start on all fours with your hands and knees on the ground. Lean back to rest your buttocks on your heels, keeping your arms extended and palms on the floor. Reach your arms forward to feel the stretch in your lower back and buttocks. Take deep breaths as you remain in this position for 15 to 30 seconds, then return to all fours. Repeat two to three times.

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