Understanding and Managing Numbness in the Hand 2023

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Hand numbness is a common and occasionally unsettling sensation that numerous individuals encounter at certain times in their lives. Although it can arise from various factors, it is crucial to acknowledge this sensation, as it might serve as an indicator of an underlying medical issue that requires attention. This article will delve into the origins, signs, and diverse treatment options available for alleviating hand numbness.

Causes of Hand Numbness

Several factors may contribute to hand numbness:

  1. Impaired Circulation: Impaired blood circulation is one of the main causes of hand numbness. Long periods of inactivity, restrictive clothing or jewellery, and diseases like Raynaud’s illness can all contribute to this.
  2. Compression of the nerve: This condition can cause numbness in the hand. The median nerve may get compressed as a result of repeated movements, such as extended typing or heavy use of hand tools, or illnesses like carpal tunnel syndrome.
  3. Physical Trauma: This can cause transient hand numbness, including wrist sprains, fractures, and dislocations. Numbness may also be brought on by edoema, inflammation, or nerve damage following an accident.
  4. Peripheral Neuropathy: Peripheral neuropathy, affecting nerves in the extremities, including the hands, can be triggered by factors such as diabetes, alcohol abuse, specific medications, or underlying medical conditions.
  5. Vitamin Deficiencies: Insufficient levels of essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B12, can lead to nerve damage and subsequent hand numbness. This condition is more prevalent among individuals with poor dietary habits or certain medical issues hindering nutrient absorption.
  6. Infections and Diseases: Certain infections like Lyme disease or shingles have the potential to damage nerves, resulting in hand numbness. Additionally, conditions like multiple sclerosis and lupus may manifest hand numbness as part of their broader range of symptoms.

Symptoms of Hand Numbness

Hand numbness can manifest uniquely for each individual and may encompass the following symptoms:

  1. Tingling or Pins-and-Needles Sensation: Many individuals experience a tingling feeling or a sensation akin to pins and needles in the affected hand.
  2. Weakness: Hand numbness may coincide with weakness, making tasks like gripping objects or performing daily activities more challenging.
  3. Loss of Coordination: Reduced sensation can result in a diminished ability to coordinate and manipulate objects with the hand.
  4. Burning or Prickling Sensation: Some people may describe a burning or prickling sensation in the numb hand.
  5. Pain: In certain instances, numbness may be accompanied by varying degrees of pain.

Treatment and Management in Singapore

The approach to addressing hand numbness varies depending on its underlying cause:

  1. Treating Underlying Medical Conditions: When numbness in the hand is linked to an underlying medical condition like diabetes, vitamin deficiency, or autoimmune disease, it is essential to address the root cause. This may entail medication, lifestyle adjustments, or dietary modifications.
  2. Physical Therapy: Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or injuries may benefit from physical therapy, which aims to enhance hand strength and mobility. Occupational therapy can also be recommended to teach adaptive techniques for daily activities.
  3. Medications: In certain situations, healthcare providers may prescribe medications like anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, or nerve-specific drugs to alleviate symptoms associated with hand numbness.
  4. Ergonomic Changes: If repetitive movements or poor ergonomics in your workplace contribute to hand numbness, making ergonomic modifications to your workspace can be advantageous.
  5. Lifestyle Adjustments: Simple lifestyle changes, such as avoiding tight clothing or jewelry and incorporating regular hand exercises, can help both prevent and alleviate numbness resulting from poor circulation or nerve pressure.
  6. Surgical Intervention: In severe cases where conservative treatments prove ineffective, surgery may be necessary to relieve nerve pressure or correct structural issues causing hand numbness.


Hand numbness is a symptom that warrants prompt attention. Although it may sometimes result from minor factors such as temporary nerve pressure or inadequate circulation, it can also serve as a potential indicator of underlying medical issues that demand proper care. If you or someone you’re aware of experiences persistent or recurring hand numbness, seeking guidance from a healthcare expert is crucial for a thorough assessment and the formulation of a tailored treatment approach. Timely intervention and effective management can aid in restoring sensation and mitigating the risk of potential complications.

Numbness in the Hand FAQ

If the numbness in your hands lasts more than a few hours, or if it comes and goes, you should seek medical assistance right once. It could indicate a significant medical problem.
Damage, inflammation, or compression of a nerve or a branch of a nerve in your arm or wrist can cause hand numbness. Numbness can also be caused by diseases that damage the peripheral nerves, such as diabetes. Diabetes, on the other hand, frequently produces numbness in the feet initially.
Improvement in symptoms depends on the duration, intensity, and other characteristics of the patient's pressure. Some issues are completely treatable. Other instances, treatment may not completely eliminate all numbness or weakness. Sometimes, nerve damage can become irreversible.
Rarely, finger numbness may be a sign of a stroke, a serious condition that necessitates quick emergency care. Stroke-related numbness typically begins abruptly in the face, arm, or leg.

If you would like an appointment / review with our specialist for hand numbness in singapore, the best way is to call +65 3135 1327 or click here to book an appointment at the clinic. If you would like to speak to one of our clinicians first, then please contact contact@orthopaedicclinic.com.sg or SMS/WhatsApp to +65 3135 1327

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