Numbness in hands: What causes this?

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Numbness in hands: What causes it?

Question

What causes tingling numbness in hands?

Rena
Illinois

Answer

There are many possible causes of tingling or numbness in hands. The most common cause is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is due to narrowing of the carpal tunnel — which normally protects a main (median) nerve to your hand as well as to several tendons that bend your fingers — in your wrist. Pressure on the median nerve can cause numbness in your wrist, fingers, hand or forearm.

Other causes of numbness in hands include:

  • Ulnar tunnel syndrome, which results from compression of the ulnar nerve — another nerve supplying the hand
  • Compression of the cervical nerve root in your neck
  • Damage to the cervical spinal cord, such as due to trauma or tumor

It's important to determine the cause of numbness in hands. If numbness persists or spreads to other parts of your body, consult your doctor for an evaluation. Treatment of numbness in hands depends on the underlying cause.

Last Updated: 04/25/2007
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