What are possible causes of numbness in hands?

Numbness in the hands can have many causes, which run from mild and temporary to serious medical conditions. The most common cause is damage or compression of the nerves in the hand.

Other causes of numbness in the hands include:

  • Nerve damage in the hands, arm or neck
  • A herniated disc that puts pressure on the spinal nerves
  • Nerve pressure caused by tumors, infection, or enlarged blood vessels
  • Shingles
  • Herpes infection
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, a common condition in which pressure is placed on the nerves in the wrist. This often affects those who use their hands and wrists for work, such as typing.
  • Hardening of the arteries causing a lack of blood to the area
  • Poor circulation from diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Migraine headaches
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Raynaud’s syndrome, which causes artery spasms that reduce blood flow to the hands
  • Animal or insect bites
  • Certain medications
  • Lack of vitamin B12
  • Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Vasculitis
  • Lyme disease

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