Numbness in arms and hands is a condition in which you feel lost, reduced or, altered sensation in arms and hands. It can involve one or both arms. Numbness can occur suddenly or progress gradually. It can result from several causes ranging from mild to severe, from chronic medical conditions to acute injuries affecting the nerves or blood vessels supplying the arms and hands. Some of the common causes are-
- Sleeping in the wrong position with the elbow or the wrist bent.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome- It causes numbness, tingling, or pain in the hand because of the compression of the median nerve at the wrist when it passes through the carpal tunnel.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome-It occurs when blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone (clavicle) and the first rib are compressed.
- Diabetic Neuropathy is a peripheral neuropathy resulting from longstanding uncontrolled diabetes.
- Circulatory disorders like atherosclerosis, Raynaud’s disease.
- Side effects of certain medications like cancer treatment drugs, heart medications.
- Nutritional deficiencies like deficiency of Vitamin B12 or Calcium deficiency.
- A herniated cervical disc puts pressure on the cervical nerves.
- Alcoholic Neuropathy- Chronic alcoholism leads to nerve damage.
- More severe causes like heart attack and stroke.
Numbness may be accompanied by burning feeling, tingling, pain, or pins and needles sensation. The severity, frequency, and location of symptoms depend on the cause. It also helps in determining the causative disease, condition, or nutritional deficiency. Treatment varies as per the causative factor.