If the hands become numb, you will have difficulty doing various activities. However, such numbness can be a sign of a disease related to the musculoskeletal system and other systems in the body.
Causes unrelated to diseases
The numbness of the hands can be due to sleeping in an uncomfortable position such as sleeping in a rigid or soft mattress, a bad pillow, tight pajamas or wearing bracelets and rings when sleeping. In such cases, stiffness will be noticed in the morning. As time goes by, the flow of blood normalizes and the numbness seizes.
Another common cause of numbness is overexertion that occurs as a result of weight and taking long walks. If yo also right a lot, type or do needlework, you will experience numbness. This is caused by being in one position for a long time. To curb this you can try and warm up after every 30 minutes and change position.
Numbness can be also due to a sudden change in temperature or during pregnancy. This is perfectly normal and does not require any form of treatment.
If the numbness happens on a regular basis and is not accompanied by pain, there is a possibility that it may due to external factors and not disease. However, if the hands become numb and painful, then you should see a doctor immediately.
The numbness may be a symptom of:
Carpal Canal Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome or tunnel syndrome is pain caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist. The main is felt as tingling, goosebumps and numbness of the first, second and third fingers of the hands. When it begins, these symptoms can be felt when you are in an uncomfortable position.
when it first begins, you will fell a slight numbness then the pain will be felt more at night. Since the pain is neuropathic, it may almost be impossible to relive it with painkillers. In more serious and neglected cases, you may be unable to button up and even tie your shoelaces because the muscles are too weak.
The people who are at risk are those who do long monotonous work with their hands in one position. Tunnel syndrome has a specific feature and that is that the first, second and third fingers will hurt and become numb. If the numbness is felt in the fourth and fifth finger then that is elbow syndrome, a similar disease that also requires immediate medical attention.
There are two types: Compression and peripheral.
Compression neuropathy – Some of the symptoms include muscle weakness, spasms and loss of sensitivity caused by pressure on the nerve. The nerve may be under pressure as a result of injury, dilation of blood vessels, swelling of muscles or the formation of cysts. The numbness of the hands can cause a clamped nerve of the wrist, elbow, forearm and even neck. Such conditions should be dealt with by a neurologist.
Peripheral neuropathy – This is damage of the peripheral nervous system that transmits signals throughout the body. This type of neuropathy can arise due to anaemia, type 2 diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic liver and kidney disease.
This is a serious neurological disease where by there is difficulty in transmitting signals from the brain to the body. Contrary to the steriotypes, it attacks only older people especially those in theri 30s.
Numbness of the arms and legs is one of the early signs of multiple sclerosis. Other symptoms include amenorrhea, clumsiness, short-term memory disorders, increased anxiety and irritability, pain and spasms, colour blindness, the appearance of blind spots, changes in the frequency of urination, dizziness, nausea, chronic fatigue and difficulties in determining hot and cold. If you experience some of these symptoms, ensure that you see a neurologist.
The numbness is not usually a sign of any health problems. If you experience numb hands as result of sleeping in an uncomfortable position, temperature variations and working for long, then it is not a big deal. However, if you have the numbness on a regular basis and you have symptoms of other diseases, it is advisable that you seek medical attention.