Hand numbness can be caused by damage, irritation, or compression of a nerve or a branch of a nerve in your arm and wrist.

Diseases affecting the peripheral nerves, such as diabetes, also can cause numbness. However, diabetes usually causes numbness in the feet first.

Uncommonly, numbness may be caused by problems in your brain or spinal cord. When this happens, arm or hand weakness or loss of function also occurs. Numbness alone isn't usually associated with potentially dangerous disorders, such as strokes or tumors.

Your doctor needs detailed information about your symptoms to diagnose the cause of numbness. A variety of tests may be needed to confirm the cause before treatment can begin.

Possible causes of numbness in one or both of your hands include:

Brain and nervous system conditions

  1. Cervical spondylosis
  2. Guillain-Barre syndrome
  3. Paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system
  4. Peripheral neuropathy
  5. Spinal cord injury
  6. Stroke

Trauma or overuse injuries

  1. Brachial plexus injury
  2. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  3. Cubital tunnel syndrome
  4. Frostbite

Chronic conditions

  1. Alcohol use disorder
  2. Amyloidosis
  3. Diabetes
  4. Multiple sclerosis
  5. Raynaud's disease
  6. Sjogren's syndrome

Infectious diseases

  1. Lyme disease
  2. Syphilis

Treatment side effects

  1. Chemotherapy or HIV drugs

Other causes

  1. Ganglion cyst
  2. Vasculitis
  3. Vitamin B-12 deficiency

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

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June 08, 2023