What causes hand numbness? 33 possible conditions

Viewing 1 - 20 of 33 results

Definition

Finger numbness is an abnormal sensation that’s caused by a change in sensory nerve function.

Alternative Names

Numb fingers, numbness in fingers, numbness of fingers, tingling fingers.

Overview

Sensations are carried to the brain through neurons in the spinal cord. If the blood supply to the nerves is limited or the nerve is otherwise damaged it can produce the feeling that your finger “fell asleep”. Permanent or severe blood loss (ischemia) can result in permanent nerve damage. Nerves in the fingers can be damaged when the blood supply is decreased over time, like in diabetes.

Associated Diagnoses

  • trauma
  • peripheral nerve compression
  • frostbite
  • beriberi
  • diabetic nerve damage
  • multiple sclerosis
  • snake bites
  • neuralgias
  • rabies
  • radiculopathy
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • pernicious anemia
  • toxin exposure or poisoning
  • stroke
  • necrotizing vasculitis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • malnutrition

Diagnosis and Treatments

See your doctor if finger numbness doesn’t go away and is accompanied by other symptoms like weakness and pain. A complete medical history and physical may be required for a diagnosis.  Possible required tests include:

  • nerve conduction velocity tests
  • electromyography
  • imaging studies
  • nerve biopsy

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and aim to relieve symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy and stretching exercises may help ease symptoms once the underlying cause is found and treated.

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See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when nerves malfunction because they're damaged or destroyed. You'll notice a tingling, numbness, or weakness, and possibly sweating, constipation, or diarrhea.

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2

Beriberi

Beriberi is caused by a vitamin B-1 (thiamine) deficiency. It's rare in areas that have access to nutritious food sources, but some diseases (ex. liver disease) and conditions (ex. prolonged diarrhea) can lead to it.

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3

Mononeuropathy

Mononeuropathy is a pathological effect of a single large nerve. It can be caused by injury, nutritional deficiency, or autoimmune condition. Common symptoms are numbness, tingling, or burning.

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4

Necrotizing Vasculitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Necrotizing vasculitis is the inflammation of blood vessel walls. It can interrupt blood flow, causing skin, muscle, and blood vessel damage, and death of tissues and organs. Its symptoms can affect the entire body.

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5

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve, the nerve that passes through your wrist. The median nerve is located on the palm side of your hand (also called the carpal tunnel). It serves your thum...

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6

Vertebrobasilar Circulatory Disorders

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are a group of diseases in which not enough blood is supplied to the back of the brain. Symptoms depend on the cause, but may include vision and sleep problems, dizziness, and more.

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7

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of types 1 and 2 diabetes due to uncontrolled high blood sugar levels that result in damage to the nerves. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), between 6...

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8

Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism occurs when the parathyroid glands in the neck don't produce enough hormone (PTH). Too little PTH causes low calcium and high phosphorus levels in the body. Many of its symptoms concern low calciu...

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9

Leprosy

Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection that primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, lining of the nose, and upper respiratory tract. It can cause numbness or dulled sensation.

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10

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS can cause varying symptoms that appear with a wide range of severity, from mild discomfort to complete disability.

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11

Osteomalacia

Osteomalacia is a weakening of the bones due to problems with bone formation or the bone building process. It is not the same as osteoporosis, which is a weakening of living bone that has already been formed and i...

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12

Porphyrias

Porphyrias are a group of rare inherited blood disorders. People with these disorders do not make heme, a component of hemoglobin (protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen) properly. Heme is made of porphyrin (...

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13

Stroke Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A stroke is a medical emergency where part of the brain is deprived of oxygen. There are four major kinds of stroke: cerebral thrombosis, cerebral embolism, subarachnoid hemorrhage & intracerebral hemorrhage.

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14

Thoracic Outlet Syndromes

The narrow space between your collarbone and first rib is known as the thoracic outlet. Blood vessels, nerves, and muscles that extend from the back to the arms pass through this area. If the space in the thoraci...

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15

Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy refers to disease of the spinal nerve roots. Radiculopathy produces pain , numbness, or weakness radiating from the spine.

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16

Spinal Stenosis

The spine is a column of bones. It provides stability and support for the upper body. It enables us to turn and twist. Spinal nerves run through openings in the vertebrae and conduct signals from the brain to rest o...

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17

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a person's neck is whipped backward and then forward very suddenly. This injury is most common following a rear-end car collision. It can also result from physical abuse, sports injuries, o...

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18

Migraine with Aura

Migraine is a disorder characterized by repeated attacks of severe headache. A migraine headache causes throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on only one side of the head. These headaches are often associated wit...

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19

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular diseases (PVDs) are circulation disorders that affect blood vessels outside of the heart and brain. PVD typically strikes the veins and arteries that supply the arms, legs, and organs located belo...

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20

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is usually an age-related condition that affects the joints in your neck. It develops as a result of the wear and tear of the cartilage and bones are of the cervical spine. While it is largely du...

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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