Numbness in one or both hands describes a loss of sensation or feeling in your hand or fingers. Often, numbness in hands may be accompanied by other changes, such as a pins-and-needles sensation, burning or tingling. The arm, hand or fingers may feel clumsy or weak.

Numbness can occur along a single nerve, or it may occur in both hands in a symmetrical pattern.

It's important to determine the cause of hand numbness. 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.

Call 911 or get emergency medical help if your numbness:

  • Begins suddenly, particularly if it's accompanied by weakness or paralysis, confusion, difficulty talking, dizziness, or a sudden, severe headache

Schedule an office visit if your numbness:

  • Begins or worsens gradually and persists
  • Spreads to other parts of the body
  • Affects both sides of the body
  • Comes and goes
  • Seems related to certain tasks or activities, particularly repetitive motions
  • Affects only a part of your hand, such as a finger
Apr. 20, 2013