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Numbness and Tingling in Hands

Chandramita Bora Apr 29, 2019
Numbness in hands can be a really uncomfortable experience. It is usually accompanied by an abnormal sensation of stinging. This condition can be caused by numerous factors, which are briefly discussed here.
Numbness and tingling is described as a loss of sensation, usually accompanied by an abnormal stinging sensation. Sometimes, such sensation can be felt in one hand, while at other times, both hands are affected. This condition can be caused by various factors, some of which are minor, like keeping hands in a single position for a prolonged period of time.
However, it can also be associated with certain serious diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Sometimes, it can be the first sign of an impending stroke. Therefore, persistent numbness or tingling in your hands or fingers may not always be a minor discomfort. It can require immediate medical attention at times.

Causes of Numbness and Tingling

There can be several factors that can cause this condition. Sometimes, this condition can be accompanied by some other symptoms like a burning sensation, weakness, and pain in the hands. These symptoms can appear all of a sudden or develop gradually. Here are some of the important factors that can cause numbness in hands:
  • Being in the same position for a prolonged time and applying pressure on hands are common factors that can cause numbness and a tingling sensation in hands or arms. This is why people with the habit of sleeping with their hands under the pillow, experience this condition.
  • Keeping hands above the level of heart for a long time can cause this condition, as it can prevent normal blood flow to the hands.
  • If you experience this while sleeping, it can be carpal tunnel syndrome, a disorder caused by compression of a nerve in the carpal tunnel located in the wrist. Along with hands, it can cause stinging sensation in the fingers.
  • An interruption in the normal supply of blood to the hands and fingers can also cause pain and numbness. Such an interruption can take place due to the formation plaques within the arterial wall.
  • A herniated disc can press the spinal nerves to cause numbness, pain, and a tingling sensation in the hands, shoulder, neck, and the upper back region.
  • Spondylosis, especially cervical spondylosis, is another condition that can put pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots present in the neck, and cause numbness in the neck and hands.
  • Sometimes, an injury to the arm, wrist, fingers, or the shoulder blade can cause stiffness and numbness in hands, fingers, and the shoulder.
  • Many times, vitamin B12 deficiency, use of certain medications, excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking can also be associated with this condition.
  • Hand numbness can be a sign of certain medical conditions, including diabetes, strokes, multiple sclerosis, ganglion cyst, hypothyroidism, Raynaud's syndrome or disease, and peripheral neuropathy.

Treatment Options

A complete analysis of the medical history of the affected person and symptoms of the condition, followed by the neurological examination can help diagnose this problem. Along with these, a complete blood count test, thyroid function test, cold stimulation test, and test for determining the level of vitamins and minerals in the body are also carried out.
Additionally, physicians can perform tests for measuring the level of blood sugar, along with CT scan of the head and the spine, MRI of the head and the spine, electromyography (EMG), angiogram, myelography, and X-rays of the affected area.
As this condition can be caused by several factors, its treatment depends on accurate diagnosis. If overexertion of the hands and wrist is responsible for causing numbness, then rest can help improve the symptoms.
Exercises and physical therapy can also provide significant relief in arm or hand numbness. Correcting your sleeping position can also help prevent hand numbness.
To sum up, it is essential to diagnose this condition for it appropriate treatment. It should be properly evaluated with the help of an expert physician, as many times, hand numbness can be a sign of some major medical conditions like strokes, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
This is particularly applicable, if numbness in fingers and hands is troubling you for a considerable period of time. In the meantime, avoid overexertion or placing too much pressure on the affected hand.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.