Arm Numbness

hand-798411_1280Numbness can be a common symptom in the body, often as a result of an injury, pressure on a certain part of the body, but mostly on the arms. It can happen even when we sleep, during an uncomfortable position or it can be a sign of a more severe condition. It is important to spot any accompanied symptoms which may reveal the root of the problem.

Possible Causes Of Arm Numbness

Drop Of Circulation. One of the most common cause that everyone experiences from time to time is the tingling and numbness sensation after standing for a long period of time in the same position or laying on your arm which stops the circulation. After the circulation drops, the arm doesn’t receive enough nutrients and oxygen which affects the nerves and results in this kind of sensation.

Injuries. Since injuries can cause vessel or a nerve damage, numerous traumas can lead to arm numbness. This kind of conditions don’t have to be on the part of the arm, but it can radiate towards it. An example can be pinched nerve in the back due to a disc hernia which can damage the nerve and lead to numbness and weakness in the arm area. Any other change which results in same pressure on the nerves can cause similar symptoms. It can be even an injury from a dog bite or any other damage in the arm.

Lack Of Nutrients. It is known that vitamin B is mandatory for the functioning of the nervous system. A lack of vitamin B12, B1 and B6 can cause arm numbness and also a lack of minerals such as potassium, calcium and sodium. There are more substances that can affect the arm in causing tingling sensation such as excessive use of alcohol or tobacco.

Diabetic Neuropathy. There are numerous conditions which have arm numbness as accompanied symptom. One of the common ones is diabetic neuropathy which is a chronical effect of a high level of sugar in the blood. It is more common in legs, but it can happen in other peripheral parts of the body, such as upper extremities. It starts with tingling and burning sensation, reduced sense of touch, reduced ability to feel temperature change and pain, muscle weakness and reduced motor activity with reduced reflexes.

Herpes Zoster Or Shingles Virus. The same virus that causes chickenpox can stay inside the nervous tissue silent for years. It can reappear in the form of shingles virus. It is called varicella-zoster virus and it causes skin rash, usually in a form of blisters. It can be painful and itchy and have a burning sensation. It doesn’t happen more than once per person and it clears up after a week or two.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The arm has a nerve called median nerve which goes from forearm to the hand and innervates four fingers of the hand, not including a little finger.  It has a role in movements and sensory feel. The nerve goes through a small area of the wrist called carpal tunnel. A lot of conditions can make a tunnel smaller, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, pregnancy, overuse of the wrist, arthritis. When it’s tighter and when it puts pressure on a nerve, it can result in tingling sensations and pain. It is possible that these symptoms start at night and relieve with shaking the hand.

Raynaud’s Syndrome. This is a phenomenon where the vessels spasm due to a cold temperature or stress. It is is more common in women, but the exact cause is unknown. This happens in a manner of attack, where the fingers can get from white to blue, after which the circulation recovers. It continues with redness as the blood gets back to the extremities, and after that gets back to the natural rosy color of the fingers. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

Stroke Or Heart Attack. A lot of circulatory issues can result in arms numbness such as angina to a heart attack and a stroke. It represents a blood clot that stops the circulation causing nutrients insufficiency in the ischemic part of the heart or brain. Angina has accompanied symptoms such as chest pain, swelling, increased heart rate and fear of death. A stroke  is usually presented in the form of paralysis of one-half of the body where it affects only one arm.

How To Handle Arm Numbness?

Those suffering from nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome and any injury, it is crucial to undergo a medical examination for evaluation of the damage and prescribing right therapy. If you suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome, you should protect your fingers from the cold. Avoid tobacco and alcohol intake. Try to keep your minerals and vitamin dose on optimal and avoid standing in one position for too long. If you suspect that you are having a stroke or heart attack, immediately seek for medical attention.