Hand numbness can be due to various causes that range from nerve damage to poor ergonomics. Majority of the nerves in the hand runs from arm to hand and to the fingers. Any damage to the nerves can indicate a serious illness or injury that must be assessed by a doctor, especially when the numbness abruptly occur and followed by shooting pain.
Causes of hand numbness
There are several causes of hand numbness that you should be familiar with. By being familiar with the causes, you know the appropriate first aid care and treatment to provide.
Hand numbness can indicate a stroke that is currently in progress. If the numbness manifests abruptly and accompanied by shooting pain up the arm, a stroke is currently in progress, thus emergency assistance is required right away. Other symptoms that can occur include confusion, dizziness, paralysis and difficulty talking.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Once the middle nerve running through the hand is damaged, it can lead to numbness and eventually carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition is mainly linked with repetitive motions performed in working conditions such as in carpentry or using the computer that involves the same hand movements for extended periods. The initial numbness will affect the thumb and the side of the palm which is the result of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is often accompanied with swelling.
If the arm stays inactive for prolonged periods, such as when sitting or sleeping, the circulation is impeded and the hand can become numb. The lack of blood supply to the hand can be due to the build-up of plaque in the arteries and can indicate serious complications. Shaking or moving the hand to check if the feeling returns quickly can test the severity of the condition. In case the hand stays numb after moving it, you have to consult a doctor.
Nerve damage to the disc in the spine
Any nerve damage to the discs in the back can lead to the leg and hand numbness. Once moved to a certain position, the herniated disc will add pressure on the nerves and create numbness. Any injury to the top part of the spine close to neck usually manifests as tingling and painful numbness or sensation in the hands or arms, while lower back injuries can affect the legs and feet.
This is a circulatory condition that causes the extremities such as the ears, nose, finger and toes to tingle and go numb when exposed to cold or when the individual experiences extreme stress and emotions. The blood vessels constrict as a response and transmit a tingling sensation through the hands, numbing the extremity. This numbing sensation can persist for several minutes up to a few hours. Relaxation techniques can help prevent the attacks of numbness among individuals who suffer from this condition.