There is a wide range of things that may cause hand or arm numbness. The most common causes of hand numbness are sitting or sleeping in the same position for a long time. This puts pressure on the nerves and decreases the blood flow. But the causes aren’t always so harmless. The numbness in the hands may also develop because of certain health conditions.
Below are 5 common causes of numbness in your hands and arms.
1. Vitamin deficiency
The deficiency of vitamin B12 can be responsible for numbness or tingling in your hands. This vitamin is crucial for your nervous health. Lack of potassium and magnesium may also have the same symptoms. Along with numbness, vitamin deficiency can lead to general weakness, fatigue, cognitive decline, poor balance, and even hallucinations.
To restore vitamin B12 levels you need to eat more meat, fish, eggs, and cheese. If you have a severe deficiency, the doctor may prescribe you vitamin B12 food supplements.
Diabetes makes it difficult for your body to process sugar and convert it into energy. When your blood sugar levels are constantly elevated, this can lead to nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. This type of nerve damage can cause issues like numbness, weakness, and pain in your hands and legs.
The treatment of nerve damage is often based on the underlying condition. To relieve the symptoms and stop the progression of the disease, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels stable. The doctor may also prescribe pain medications to relieve discomfort.
3. Cervical degenerative disc disease
Degenerative disc disease is a common condition when the spinal discs lose their density. This is a part of the aging process that occurs because of wear and tear. Because of degenerative processes, the discs lose their ability to function efficiently as part of the spinal joint. The symptoms of degenerative disc disease include pain and numbness in the neck, back, and arms. This discomfort tends to get worse by movement and decreases after rest.
The degenerative disc disease treatment treatment includes massage therapy, steroid injections, and over-the-counter pain medications to relieve pain. Strengthening your back muscles is also crucial to prevent the progression of degenerative disc disease.
4. Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another condition that can cause hand numbness. This condition because of excessive pressure on the median nerve goes through a carpal tunnel, a passage in your wrist. This condition often develops because of repetitive activities of the hand. In the early stages, you may feel weakness and numbness in the morning. Over time, you start feeling flares of carpal tunnel syndrome, especially when you hold something with your wrist bent.
There is a wide range of treatments available for carpal tunnel syndrome. Everything from stretching exercises to surgery can help you relieve numbness and pain. Making ice compresses and resting your hand can also help combat the symptoms.
5. Ganglion cyst
A ganglion cyst is fluid-filled non cancerous growths that often form on the tendons or joints of the hand. The size of the cyst can range from pea-sized to an inch in diameter. When the cyst presses on the nearby nerves, you may feel pain and numbness in the wrist and hand. Depending on the location, the cyst can interfere with joint movement and limit your range of motion. Underlying conditions like osteoarthritis or joint injury can increase your risk of developing a ganglion cyst.
You don’t need treatment if a ganglion cyst doesn’t cause symptoms. In case if it presses on the nearby nerves or decreases your range motions, the doctor may recommend removing it to improve the quality of your life.
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