10 Causes for Hand Numbness That Scream You Need to See a Doctor

4 months ago

Numbness in hands is an extremely unpleasant symptom that can frighten anyone. In some cases, like medication side effects, there is nothing to worry about. These conditions can be treated quite easily and do not lead to dangerous complications. But there are also serious diseases that cause hand numbness and require immediate or continuous treatment.

Bright Side discovered what disorders can cause hand numbness. Read this information carefully and do not put off visiting a specialist if there are any concerns.

1. Stroke

In some cases hand numbness can be an alarming symptom of a medical emergency. This is especially true for a situation when a person is having a stroke. Numbness or weakness in this situation is usually sudden and affects one side of the body. People having a stroke may also have trouble lifting one of their arms up.

Since this condition is very dangerous, you should know the other signs associated with it. The sooner a person recognizes this problem, the higher his or her chances are to recover and even avoid disabilities and brain damage.

2. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Another common reason for this unpleasant feeling can be carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition occurs when one of the major nerves in the hand is compressed or squeezed. Other signs of this problem include pain, tingling, burning, and weakness. In the early stages, the symptoms can be relieved with simple measures while late diagnostics often require surgery.

3. Lyme disease

Lyme disease is transmitted through bites from infected ticks. According to the CDC, there are about 30,000 cases of this infection around the USA. It has a wide range of symptoms and usually starts with rash and fever.

Numb hands can also be a signal of untreated Lyme disease. It is important to note that this sign is related to the second stage of the developing infection. And it can lead to serious problems with the nervous system and heart if it’s left ignored.

4. Thoracic outlet syndrome

Generally, thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by the compression of nerves or blood vessels between the collarbone and the first rib. It can happen after trauma due to carrying heavy, oversized bags or due to repetitive activities. Females are more likely to develop this condition and they usually suffer from numbness in their arms or fingers, a weakening of the grip, and pain in hands, shoulders, or neck. Doctors warn that it is better to treat this condition as early as possible to avoid surgery.

5. Raynaud’s disease

If you live in colder regions, you might know how it feels when your fingers or nose are so frozen you can’t feel them. And their paleness can be compared to only a death cap. For some people it can be ordinary cold sensitivity, while others suffer from Raynaud’s disorder.

This disease is usually provoked by cold temperatures or stress. During an attack, a person’s affected areas (usually fingers or toes) turn white. Afterward, they go blue, cold, and numb. This happens because of limited blood circulation that, in the worst cases, can lead to gangrene or amputation.

6. Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can affect people who have diabetes. High blood sugar damages the nerves all over the body and this leads to the aforementioned problem. This condition can cause even more serious complications like limb loss which is why it is crucial to be aware of the existing problem and act immediately if you notice anything wrong.

7. Fibromyalgia

If you have been having widespread pain all over your body and prolonged fatigue, you might be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. People also report having feelings of numbness and tingling in their hands and arms. It is believed to be a complex and chronic problem as its exact causes are not known yet. Some specialists suggest that there is an interaction of psychological, neurological, and physical factors.

There is no specific cure yet, but doctors can suggest different methods of managing the debilitating symptoms that may include drug treatment, as well as physical or psychological therapy.

8. Multiple sclerosis

It is never OK to experience regular numbness or weakness in your hands. But if it is accompanied by tremors and a lack of coordination, it is better to immediately check it out with a doctor. These symptoms can be caused by multiple sclerosis. There is no cure for this disorder yet, but some treatments can help someone suffering from it to manage its progression and improve their quality of life.

9. Cervical degenerative disc disease

According to studies, about 50% of people show some signs of disc degeneration by their early 20s. But what is this disorder all about? Actually, it is not a disease, but a description of a process that causes the cushioning discs in our cervical spine to wear and tear. And some people experience neck discomfort, pain, and numbness that can radiate into the arms and hands.

You need to see a doctor if you can’t live a full life because of the symptoms. Depending on the situation, you could be offered a non-surgical treatment or surgery.

10. Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. It is diagnosed when our immune system mistakenly attacks our organs and tissues. Symptoms of lupus include hand numbness, but may vary as it depends on the part of the body that was affected. The most dangerous complications of lupus involve the damage of major organs, like the heart, kidney, lungs, or brain. But if you know the diagnosis, it can help you to work with the symptoms and eliminate its influence on your life.

Do you have any of these problems? Will you visit a doctor after reading this article? Share this piece with a friend who has complained about this symptom.

Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for Bright Side


Get notifications

You guys should add orbital tunnel syndrome. I haven't felt my pinkie or ring fingers since January. It basically feels like whacking your funny bone every two minutes. Oh, and my pinkie just keeps... getting cold? It doesn't change color, but it is noticeably freezing compared to my other fingers.


Very useful, as always. Will share with my friends with family. It's better to be informed in advance


Will be useful to know this in case of any emergency. But let's hope it won't happen!
Thanks for sharing and educating us.


Related Reads