Tingling, pins-and-needles sensation, or numbness (loss of sensation) are medically referred to as paresthesia. Such abnormal skin sensations are usually a neurological symptom that may occur due to any kind of damage, disease or injury to a sensory nerve. Its severity depends from person to person. While occasional tingling or numbness in a healthy individual is not a cause of serious concern, if a person who is suffering from a heart disease/hypertension/diabetes experiences tingling in his/her arm or hand, he/she must seek medical assistance. The possible causes for tingling in arms and hands include a physical nerve injury type condition like a nerve entrapment or a pressure applied to the nerve or to the spinal attachment of that nerve.
What Causes a Tingling Sensation in the Arm and Hand
The causes for tingling in arms and hands are as follows:
- The most common cause for tingling in the arm is thoracic outlet syndrome or subluxated first rib. It is a disorder that occurs due to compression at the superior thoracic outlet which affects the brachial plexus (nerves passing into the arms from the neck)
- Basilar artery migraine is another contributory factor. It occurs due to malfunctioning of a major brain artery at the base of the brain. Also known as Bickerstaff Syndrome, it causes severe headaches, dizziness, bilateral paresthesia, dysarthria, etc.
- Acroparesthesia Syndrome is a condition that usually occurs in middle-aged women, involves paresthesia, i.e., tingling, numbness, or stiffness of lower arms and hands.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is another cause for tingling sensation in the arms and hands, especially fingers. It mainly occurs when the tendons or ligaments in the wrist become enlarged due to inflammation and aggravation.
- Arachnoid cyst is a cerebrospinal fluid-filled cyst that causes tingling in the arms, and develops between the surface of the brain and the cranial base. It is a rare disorder that develops on the arachnoid membrane covering the spinal cord and brain.
- Fracture of the shoulder-blade bone causes tingling in the arm. It is a large flat bone in the top portion of the back that connects the arms to the chest.
- Polyarteritis nodosa is a blood vessel disease where arteries get swollen and damaged, and are incapable of supplying adequate amount of blood to the different parts of the body, hence causing tingling of hands and arms.
- Neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa (NARP) is a rare inherited disorder that damages the energy producing parts of the cells, hence affecting the nervous system and causing other complications like muscle and vision problems. It also causes tingling in hands and arms
Other causes include arm fracture, chronic myeloproliferative disorder, classic migraine, Guillain barre syndrome, hyperventilation, etc. Stiff joints in the neck due some injury or improper movement or position can be another common cause of tingling in the arms and hands.
Can Nutritional Deficiencies Cause Tingling in Hands?
Poor dietary habits can cause a variety of health problems. It is essential to fulfill the body's needs for nutrients. For instance, vitamins such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic Acid (B5) and pyridoxine (B6) and vitamin B12 promote healthy functioning of the nerves. Vitamin B12 is found in meat products, soy supplements and seaweed. It is important that your intake of supplements be continued, especially when their diet has an inadequacy of nutrients.
It is important to mention that foods that consist added preservatives should not be consumed as their nutrient levels are slackened. Vitamins and minerals are artificially sprayed on them before packaging. Oral pills, injections and fluids could serve to be the required supplement to fight these deficiencies. The decision is best left to a trusted healthcare professionals' authority and experience.
Consult a practitioner and consciously make changes in your dietary intake. If the condition is still not under control, make sure that you adhere to the expert's prescription to the T.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purposes and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.