Hand Numbness - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

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Video: Hand Numbness - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Video: Hand Numbness - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Video: How to Tell What is Causing the Numbness in Your Hands (5 Common Causes) 2023, March
Hand Numbness - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Hand Numbness - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Hand numbness: how to treat?

Numbness in the arms and legs often worries people of all ages. This feeling may be accompanied by tingling, crawling creeps, deterioration in sensitivity, pain. This combination of symptoms is called paresthesias. Most often, numbness of the limbs is a physiological phenomenon, that is, it is not dangerous. However, sometimes this symptom can indicate a serious illness. To find out the cause of regular hand numbness, you need to see a doctor.


  • Causes of numbness
  • Symptoms
  • When is it necessary to see a doctor?
  • Which doctor treats hand numbness?
  • Diagnosing the problem
  • Hand numbness treatment
  • General tips and tricks for prevention

Causes of numbness

Causes of numbness
Causes of numbness

Both physiological and pathological factors can provoke hand numbness.

Temporary or physiological factors

Physiological (temporary) causes of numbness include:

  • Prolonged pastime in a pose when one hand is thrown over the armrest. This puts pressure on the nerve endings, which causes some discomfort.
  • Carrying a heavy bag or backpack. The pressure in this case will be provided by its straps. Numbness occurs against the background of a violation of the blood supply to the limb.

  • Wearing clothes that are too tight.
  • Frequent raising of the arms above the shoulders.
  • For a long time in the cold. Numbness occurs due to vasospasm.

All of these factors do not pose any threat to health. To prevent numbness, you need to change your posture more often, massage your limbs, do light gymnastics, change the position of your backpack or bag. The danger is represented by pathological causes leading to numbness of the hands.

Pathological factors

Fingers can become numb due to pinching of nerve endings and blood vessels in the wrist. Connective tissue can press on them. If the numbness disappears quickly after changing the posture, or after rubbing the tissues, then this symptom can be ignored. Provided that numbness occurs often, persists for a long time, and it is not possible to cope with it with massage and change of posture, you need to consult a doctor. Such a symptom may indicate an infringement of nerve fibers, or a violation of the blood supply to tissues.

The reasons can be very serious. Among them:

  • Polyneuropathy. This pathology is accompanied by damage to the nerve trunks of the peripheral nervous system. In addition to numbness, the patient will develop weakness of the arms, their tissues will begin to atrophy, that is, dry out. The patient suffers from cuts (partial movement disorder). Sometimes paralysis is observed, that is, the functions of the limb will be completely lost. The cause of polyneuropathy may be diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, diphtheria, hemoblastosis, porphyria, periarteritis nodosa, systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Stroke. With this pathology, a malnutrition of the brain occurs. Numbness of the limbs is most often caused by ischemic stroke. People's hands become numb at rest, and tingling occurs in them.
  • Neuroses.
  • Shingles.
  • Damage to the nerve nodes in various parts of the spine. The cervical, shoulder, lumbosacral region can be affected. With such pathologies, in addition to numbness, a person will suffer from pain. It will be localized in those places for the innervation of which the affected nerve plexuses are responsible. The most common pathology is osteochondrosis.

  • Median nerve lesion syndrome. This pathology is called pronator syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. Numbness occurs as a "monkey hand". The surface of the first finger from the side of the palm and completely 2, 3 and 4 fingers of the hand suffers.
  • Damage to the ulnar and radial nerves, which can be observed in Turner syndrome and in other pathologies.
  • Vascular lesion. Often endarteritis obliterans leads to numbness. With this pathology, microcirculation in small blood vessels is disturbed. This happens against the background of their spasm. Numbness resembles a clinic for osteochondrosis.
  • Raynaud's disease. Numbness occurs in the hands and feet. It appears paroxysmal, the cause is a violation of blood circulation in the vessels. Raynaud's disease can be inherited, severe stress can provoke its manifest.
  • Vitamin deficiency. Numbness develops in people whose bodies lack B vitamins, namely thiamine, folic acid, cyanocobalamin. Also, numbness can develop against the background of vitamin E deficiency.

  • Vibration disease. Numbness is a companion for people who often experience vibration. In addition to regularly receiving microscopic injuries, such persons develop pathological reflexes. This causes pain and numbness.
  • Injuries received. These can be fractures, bruises, dislocations. All of them contribute to the disruption of the integrity of the nerves. This leads to characteristic symptoms.
  • Taking some medicines. Numbness acts as a side effect. It is available in antibacterial drugs and chemotherapy drugs.



The symptoms of hand numbness depend a lot on the exact cause of the disorder.

Common signs of numbness:

  • Weakness in the limb.
  • Inability to hold an object.
  • Tingling sensation in the fingers.
  • Creeping sensation.
  • The appearance of "goose bumps".
  • Feeling of coldness of the limb.

If after 2-3 minutes the unpleasant symptoms persist, then a pathological cause of numbness can be suspected.

When it develops against the background of diabetes mellitus, the patient will experience symptoms such as:

  • Numbness in other parts of the body.
  • Great thirst, dry mouth.
  • Frequent urge to empty the bladder.
  • Visual impairment.

If a person has diseases of the joints and spine, then in addition to numbness, he will be pursued by symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the body and limbs.
  • Numbness at night. It occurs even with a comfortable sleeping position.
  • Morning stiffness of movement.
  • Weak muscle tone.
  • Tingling in the palms.
  • Numbness in the fingers.

When is it necessary to see a doctor?

When needed
When needed

Numbness as a symptom cannot be ignored. Sometimes it is this that becomes the first sign of the development of a serious illness. Numbness is often associated with a stroke. Therefore, you should not hesitate to contact a specialist. With frequent numbness, you need to see a neurologist.

When to see a doctor:

  • There is no way to explain why the numbness occurs.
  • Painful sensations appear in the forearm, in the fingers, in the neck.
  • The urge to urinate becomes more frequent.
  • A rash appears on the body or limb.
  • Numbness is accompanied by dizziness, muscle problems, and other symptoms.
  • Large areas of the body are involved in the pathological process.
  • Numbness is bilateral.

Which doctor treats hand numbness?

Which doctor treats
Which doctor treats

If numbness occurs, you need to see a neurologist. The doctor will examine the patient, clarify his complaints, and assess the presence of other neurological signs.

If the doctor considers it necessary, he will refer the patient to other narrow specialists:

  • Patients with vasculitis and Raynaud's disease are referred to a rheumatologist.
  • People with suspected cardiovascular disease are referred to a cardiologist.
  • Patients with diabetes mellitus are referred to an endocrinologist.
  • Patients with injuries and tumors are referred to a neurosurgeon.
  • Patients with infectious diseases are referred to an infectious disease specialist.
  • Patients who have been intoxicated with harmful substances in the workplace are referred to an occupational pathologist.

Diagnosing the problem

Diagnosing the problem
Diagnosing the problem

Reception of the patient begins with a survey, which is of no small importance in the diagnostic plan. Taking a careful history allows the doctor to suspect the cause of hand numbness. After the interview, the doctor proceeds to examine the patient. In the course of its implementation, it is important to assess the color of the skin, its temperature, tendon reflexes, skin reflexes.

Based on the data obtained, the doctor directs the patient for further examination, which may include:

  • Donation of blood for general and biochemical analysis.
  • Delivery of urine for general analysis.
  • Ultrasound of internal organs.
  • X-ray of the skull and spine. The study is prescribed in the event that there is a suspicion of an intervertebral hernia or other disorders in the work of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Vascular angiography using contrast.
  • CT. This study provides maximum information about the state of organs. With its help, hematomas, aneurysms, blood clots, circulatory disorders, etc. are detected.
  • MRI. It is prescribed when the doctor suspects that the blood vessels are clamped.
  • Electroneuromyography. This study allows you to identify a violation of the innervation. Diagnostics is carried out using special electrodes.

After the patient undergoes the necessary studies, the doctor will be able to give him a conclusion on the state of health and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Hand numbness treatment

Hand numbness treatment
Hand numbness treatment

To cope with hand numbness, the doctor prescribes a comprehensive treatment. Therapeutic measures include exercise therapy complexes, as well as certain procedures. They are aimed at improving tissue nutrition and increasing blood circulation in the limbs.

Possible treatment options:

  • Physiotherapeutic effect on the body: phonophoresis and electrophoresis. Thanks to these procedures, the blood flow is activated, so the drugs better penetrate the damaged tissues.
  • Manual therapy. The study of active points allows you to get rid of excess pressure on the nerve endings. Muscle spasm goes away, articular blockages are removed.
  • Exercise therapy. The complex should be developed by a professional.

Drug treatment

The doctor will be able to select effective drugs only after the diagnosis is made. Medication alone is not enough to cope with the problem. You will need not only taking medications, but also undergoing physiotherapeutic measures, performing exercise therapy, etc.

Medical correction is based on drugs to relieve inflammation. Also, the treatment regimen includes chondroprotectors, analgesics, vasodilators.

Medication for hand numbness caused by neurological disease

To cope with hand numbness caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, osteochondrosis, or other neurological conditions, you need to remove inflammation and swelling from tissues.

For this, drugs from the NSAID group are used:

  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen).
  • Diclofenac (Diklovit, Ortofen).
  • Ketoprofen (Ketonal).
  • Ketorolac (Ketorol, Ketanov).
  • Nimesulide (Nimesil).
  • Emulgel Voltaren. Ointment for numb hands.

The drugs are used in tablet form, in the form of rectal suppositories and in the form of ointments or gels.

To cope with numbness of the hands caused by osteochondrosis, Midocalm tablets (tolperisone hydrochloride) are prescribed.

Drugs that improve the condition of nerve fibers, accelerate metabolic processes in the nervous tissue:

  • Milgamma. The preparation contains B vitamins: B1 and B6.
  • Neuromultivitis. It contains high doses of vitamins B1, B6 and B12.

Medication for hand numbness caused by vascular disease

If the numbness in the hands was caused by Raynaud's, medications are needed to dilate the blood vessels and prevent blood clots from forming. The use of sedatives is also necessary.

The scheme of drug correction will look like this:

  • Nifedipine: Cordafen, Cordaflex, Nifedipine, Corinfar. They are taken in tablet form, they allow you to dilate blood vessels.
  • Amlodipine: Amlodipine, Cardilopin, Corvadil, Norvasc, Normodipine. These drugs dilate blood vessels.
  • Pentoxifylline: Vasonite, Pentoxifylline, Trental, Trenpental. Taking drugs allows you to improve tissue nutrition, prevent the formation of blood clots, and increase blood microcirculation.

Any cardiovascular disease, accompanied by numbness of the hands, requires sedation. Most often, doctors prescribe Novo-passit to such patients.

Diet therapy

Patients with hand numbness require a diet rich in vitamins and proteins. Fresh vegetables must be present on the table: cabbage, carrots, herbs, salads. Don't forget about legumes.

You should give up cocoa and coffee. Preference should be given to green tea, herbal drinks, mint tea.

Meat and fish should not be too fatty. Minimize the consumption of smoked meats and fried foods. Chicken eggs are eaten 2-3 times a week. Cakes and pastries are subject to the restriction.

Video: Dr. Evdokimenko, rheumatologist and psychophysiologist, academician of the Russian Academy of Medical and Technical Sciences, will tell you why your hands or fingers become numb:

General tips and tricks for prevention


To cope with unexpected numbness, you need to follow these guidelines:

  • Massage your hand, roll a small ball in your palm. This will normalize the work of the capillaries.
  • Lie on the floor or bed, raise your arms and legs up and shake them.
  • Lie on your side, put a roller under your neck. Raise your arm and leg so that they are parallel to the floor. In this position, you need to move the limbs, depicting a sea wave.
  • Lie on your back, stretch your arms along the body. In this position, you need to squeeze and unclench your fingers 50 times.
  • Pat the numb area with your fingertips.

Such exercises allow you to cope with the numbness that has arisen against the background of osteochondrosis. Blood begins to circulate faster, which makes it possible to stop unpleasant symptoms.

To prevent hand numbness, you need to follow the advice of experts:

  • Control the position of the body while walking and during exercise therapy. You must always monitor your posture.
  • Correctly organize a sleeping place, purchase an orthopedic mattress and pillow. You can replace it with a roller under the neck.
  • Refuse a sedentary lifestyle. You need to play sports, run, swim, ski, skate, etc.
  • You cannot sit for more than 40 minutes without moving. After this time, you need to do a warm-up.
  • Give up smoking and alcoholic beverages, exclude strong coffee and tea.
  • Eat right. The menu should contain foods that are a source of protein, vitamins and fiber.
  • Rest should be sufficient and complete.
  • The back should not be overloaded. The weight on the hands must be distributed evenly.

If you follow these recommendations, you can not only prevent hand numbness, but also prevent the development of serious diseases, for example, osteochondrosis.


Author of the article: Sokov Andrey Vladimirovich | Neurologist

Education: In 2005 completed an internship at the IM Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and received a diploma in Neurology. In 2009, completed postgraduate studies in the specialty "Nervous diseases".

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