7 Potential Reasons for Your Hand Numbness
Learn the most common causes of hand numbness to determine whether you should see a doctor. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers, FL and Port Charlotte, FL to serve you.
Numbness in your hands or lower arms isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. In general, hand numbness is caused by compression, irritation, or damage to a nerve or a branch of a nerve in your arm and wrist. It can often be a side effect of a medication or a natural response to spending too much time performing a repetitive task such as typing on a keyboard. When your hand numbness is caused by a medical condition, you will typically experience additional symptoms that can help you determine whether it’s time to see a doctor.
Potential Reasons for Your Hand Numbness
The reasons for hand numbness generally fall into a few broad categories. These are: brain and nervous system conditions, overuse or trauma issues, infectious diseases, chronic conditions, and side effects of treatments. There are a large number of potential causes for hand numbness. Here are some of the most common:
Poor Circulation. Poor circulation isn’t a medical condition in itself, but it’s often a symptom of other medical conditions. It can also be caused by simply not moving enough during the day. When your blood vessels get blocked or compressed, it is more difficult for your blood to circulate to and from the heart, resulting in numbness and tingling in your extremities, including your hands and arms.
Peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a broader category which includes several conditions that damage the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Depending on which nerves the disorder impacts, the symptoms can vary. However, most people with peripheral neuropathy will experience tingling or numbness in the hands and arms. Other symptoms include muscle weakness or uncontrollable muscle twitching, feeling hot or cold, an increased sensitivity to touch and temperature changes, excessive sweating, and muscle wasting.
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). TOS covers a group of conditions that can compress the blood vessels and nerves passing between the first rib and the collarbone. Hand numbness or tingling is a common symptom of TOS, as is a feeling of weakness in the arm or neck.
Vitamin or mineral deficiency. Vitamin B-12 is very important in keeping your nerves healthy. If you are deficient in this key vitamin, you can experience numbness or tingling in your hands or your feet. A magnesium or potassium deficiency can also cause numbness.
Medication side effects. Damage to nerves (neuropathy) can be a side effect of the drugs used to treat anything from seizures to cancer. Antibiotics and heart or blood pressure drugs can also lead to neuropathy. The result of this nerve damage is numbness in both your hands and feet.
Slipped or herniated disc. The soft cushions that separate your spine’s vertebrae are called discs. If you get a tear in the disc, the soft material in the middle can squeeze out, thus creating a slipped, or herniated, disc. That damaged disc can irritate the nerves in your spine, resulting in numbness and pain in your arm.
Carpal tunnel. At the center of your wrist, you have a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel. At the center of the passageway is the median nerve, which supplies feeling to your fingers. Repetitive activities can cause the tissue around the median nerve to swell, putting pressure on the nerve itself. This can cause numbness in your hand along with tingling and pain.
If you are experiencing numbness in your hand or lower arm and are concerned about what might be causing it, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at the Florida Hand Center. Our specialists can help you determine the cause of your numbness and come up with some methods to alleviate the symptom.