Numbness in the arms or hands can be a cause for concern, as it can be indicative of an underlying health condition. Numbness can be caused by various factors, including pinched nerves, diabetes, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Understanding the possible causes of numbness in the arms or hands can help determine what treatment may be necessary.
1. Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is a condition in which there is compression, or squeezing, of a nerve by surrounding tissues. This compression can cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the area supplied by the nerve.
Pinched nerves in the arms and hands are relatively common and can be caused by repetitive motions, poor posture, or sleeping in an awkward position. Treatment for a pinched nerve includes rest, stretching, and physical therapy.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels properly. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and cause numbness in the arms and hands. If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels and follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan.
3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the wrist. This compression can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the arm, hand, and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by repetitive motions and can be treated with rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand and arm. The condition can be caused by repetitive motions, such as typing, or by other conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, or thyroid disorders.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome may include rest, splints, physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery.
4. Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is blocked. Symptoms of a heart attack may include numbness in the arms and hands, as well as chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea. If you think you have a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately.
A stroke is a medical emergency in which the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Symptoms of a stroke may include numbness in the arms and hands, difficulty speaking or walking, confusion, and vision problems. If you think you are having a stroke, seek medical attention immediately.
6. Neurological Conditions
Numbness in the arms and hands can also be caused by neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or carpal tunnel syndrome. MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms of MS may include numbness in the arms and hands, as well as fatigue, vision problems, and muscle weakness.
7. Migraine with Aura
A migraine with aura is a headache accompanied by sensory changes, such as numbness or tingling in the arms or hands. The numbness or tingling usually occurs before the headache begins and may last for a few minutes or hours.
If you have numbness in your arms or hands, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and the best course of treatment.
In some cases, the numbness may be due to a minor issue that can be treated with rest and physical therapy. In other cases, it may be indicative of a more serious underlying condition, such as diabetes or carpal tunnel syndrome, which may require additional treatment.
Do you need help from an orthopedic hand specialist for your problems with numbness? Let our team at North Florida Hand and Wrist help you. Schedule an appointment today for more information.