Causes of numbness of the hands and arms


Surely, on occasion, you have noticed a certain tingling in the upper extremities. When this situation occurs frequently, it is common to worry about whether it may be a symptom that you have a disease. However, it is somewhat more frequent than many people think. In addition, this sensation is not always related to some pathology, although, it cannot be ignored, it is linked or is a warning sign of possible ailments.

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In, we explain the causes of numbness of the hands and arms so you know when you have to worry or not. Anyway, you should always consult with the doctor

Common Causes of Numbness of the Hands and Arms

On many occasions, tingling in the fingers, as well as in other parts of the body, does not have to be a symptom of disease, but of other problems, such as those shown below:

  • Dehydration: when the body is not well hydrated and lacks water, this numbness of the extremities can also occur.
  • Panic or anxiety attacks: in these situations, it is also common to have tingling in hands and feet due to anxiety. In addition, it is a state that is usually accompanied by hyperventilation, which also favors that tingling in the extremities.
  • Circulatory problems: Poor blood circulation is another common cause of numbness of the arms and hands because the blood flow to them does not reach them well.

However, here are other possible causes of tingling in the hands and arms.

Paresthesia’s in hands and feet

Paresthesia is a term used to indicate this sensation, which occurs because communication between signals sent from nerves to the spinal cord and brain is disrupted.

Paresthesia, which can also affect the lower extremities and face, can be temporary or chronic. Normally, it is recognized because it presents a series of symptoms, in addition to numbness, which is the main one. And it is that people who have it also notice:

  • Burning in the arms and hands.
  • Itching in the upper extremities.
  • Tingling in both arms and hands.
  • Feeling of having the hands as padded, noticing difficulty moving them.

You may also be interested in this other article on Why I Feel Tingling in My Hands and Feet.

Nerve pressure: main cause of numbness

One of the main causes of numbness of the hands and arms is the pressure that can be exerted on one or more nerves over a period of time. Normally, this situation relieves itself and quickly when the nerve or nerves are no longer pressed. These are cases that correspond to:

  • Be in the same posture for a long time without moving.
  • Sleep many hours in the same posture.
  • Whiplash, which can cause that same sensation as a result of injuries that have occurred in the cervical soft tissue. In this case, recovery is a little slower and gradual until the damage is restored, which can take an average of six months.
  • Having seizures is another cause behind this numbness, which can last a while after the seizure has passed.

When is numbness of the hands and arms a sign of illness?

In general, when the numbness of the hands and arms occurs continuously and takes time to pass the picture of symptoms, we can consider that it is a sign of a possible disease. In these cases, normally, the person usually perceives another series of symptoms that warn of possible pathologies:

  • Numbness also of the lower extremities.
  • Muscle atrophy.
  • Ocular dysmetria.
  • Restless leg syndrome.
  • Trouble falling asleep.
  • Tingling sensation in the skin.

If you have any of these symptoms, then in we explain the possible diseases that may be causing them.

Diseases that cause tingling in the arms, face, and extremities

Normally, both numbness and the rest of the symptoms that we have just discussed, is related to neurological diseases, but also to infections or traumatology problems. These are the most frequent:

  • Nervous system disorders: In these cases, numbness of the hands and arms is related to stroke, brain tumors, head trauma, encephalitis or multiple sclerosis. Intercerebral hemorrhages are also part of it, which are related to deficits in the nervous system.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders with consequences on the nervous system: there are several pathologies and ailments that are part of this group and that have among their main symptoms the numbness of the arms and legs. We are talking, for example, of herniated discs, carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, cervical spondylosis and even muscle contractures. It is also necessary to mention the synovial cyst, which can press on the nerve through the accumulation of fluid.
  • Disorders in the circulatory system: in this section, all those problems related to a malfunction of the arteries or blood flow are included. Among the most serious are ischemic attacks such as thrombosis or embolism, which also cause oxygen not to reach the nervous system normally.
  • Metabolism disorders: Hypothyroidism is one of the diseases that causes numbness of the hands and arms. But it is not the only metabolic disorder that produces this same symptom. There are also pathologies such as diabetes or hypoglycemia. In addition, inadequate levels of calcium, sodium or potassium, among other minerals, as well as vitamins B12, B1, B5 and B6, may be behind this feeling of sleeping hands and arms. Do not forget about menopause in women because of the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur at this stage.
  • Infections: viruses such as HIV and diseases such as syphilis and even shingles or shingles generate that same feeling of numbness. But it is also caused by infections caused by bites of insects, arachnids, mites or ticks or by toxins present in shellfish.
  • Addictions: the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs favors hands and arms to fall asleep.

These are the main causes of the numbness of the hands and arms that we have told you in so that you know how to recognize them. We recommend you always go to the doctor and consult with him any symptoms so that he can make the diagnosis and determine whether or not it is worrying and, if so, prescribe the appropriate treatment.


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