Hand numbness can be a symptom of a variety of underlying conditions. Depending on the cause it can be intermittent or permanent and can range from mild to complete loss of feeling. It is important to understand the potential causes of hand numbness, as well as the symptoms that may accompany them, to help determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

The following is the list of common causes of hand numbness.

1) Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common causes of hand numbness, which occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed or pinched. This nerve runs from the forearm to the hand and controls movement and sensation in the thumb and first three fingers. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected hand, which can be particularly noticeable at night or after repetitive hand motions. To read more about treatment click here.

2) Cubital tunnel syndrome

This is a condition that occurs when the ulnar nerve, which runs from the neck to the hand, becomes compressed as it passes through the elbow. This can cause numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers. More information about cubital tunnel syndrome treatment can be found here.

3)Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

This condition occurs when the blood vessels and nerves are compressed in the thoracic outlet – a space between the muscles in the base of the neck and the first rib.

4) Compressed nerves at other locations in the upper limb

Pinched nerves are another potential cause of hand numbness, which can occur when a nerve is compressed or squeezed by surrounding tissues, such as bones, muscles, or tendons. This can cause numbness, tingling, or pain in the affected area. Pinched nerves can occur in various areas of the body, including the neck spine (cervical spondylosis), shoulder, elbow, or wrist. Area of the numbness then depends on which nerve is compressed and the location of the compression point.

5) Nerve injury

It is very common to experience numbness following a nerve injury. After receiving the treatment there is an expectation of gradual improvement of the feeling, although it make take several months or up to two years, depending on the nerve injured and the location of injury. If there is however, no return of the sensation or the numbness is associated with pain, further treatment may be necessary. Further information regarding nerve injury treatment can be found here.

6) Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy is another common cause of hand numbness. This condition usually affects several nerves and can not only cause numbness but also tingling, burning sensations, pain and weakness. It can be an accompanying sign of several conditions

  • diabetes – read more here
  • alcoholism
  • vitamin deficiencies such as Vitamin B12.
  • Medications – cancer chemotherapy, certain heart and blood pressure-reducing medications

7) Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s Disease is another potential cause of hand numbness. It is a condition that causes the blood vessels in the fingers and toes to narrow, which can lead to numbness and tingling. This condition is often triggered by exposure to cold temperatures or stress, and can cause the fingers to turn white or blue, and become cold.

8) Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid gland can cause nerve damage and lead to numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.

9)  Guillain-Barré syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune condition which leads to damage of the nerves throughout the body. The first symptom of Guillain-Barré syndrome is usually a tingling sensation in toes, feet, and legs. The tingling then spreads upward to arms and fingers.

If you are experiencing hand numbness, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. Depending on the cause, treatment options may include medication, physical therapy, surgery, or lifestyle changes to prevent further damage or injury. In addition, maintaining good hand and wrist health through proper posture, exercise, and prevention of injuries can help reduce the risk of hand numbness.



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