The why and how of waking up with numb hands

Maybe each of us has experienced numbness and prickling in the arms, particularly after waking up.

People often don’t pay much attention to burning and tingling sensations in the fingers and hands. In fact, this commonly occurs because we put pressure on the nerves in the arms, while sleeping.

However there is also a wide variety of health conditions, which can potentially cause these annoying symptoms. Medical professionals say that numbness occurs, when one of the nerves or their branches become irritated, compressed or damaged.

Sometimes people with these problems find it extremely difficult even to perform routine tasks and hold things in the hands.

Constant numbness may be a sign of chronic health issues, like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis etc.

Besides them, there are some other conditions, which can be responsible for pins and needles in your hands after you wake up in the morning:

#1. Carpal tunnel syndrome – if median nerve, which normally provides sensations to the thumb, index and middle finger, gets pinched, you may experience numbness, tingling and weakness in these three fingers and in the wrist.

#2. Alcohol misuse – in those, who lose ability to control amount of alcohol and feel strong urge to drink it all the time, hands numbness and tremor may appear several hours or days after withdrawal.

#3. Cervical radiculopathy – nerve roots in the cervical spine provide signals through the nerve pathways to the upper extremities. Numbness in the hands may be a sign of inflammation or compression of these roots or nerve fibers.

#4. Vitamin B12 deficiency – if your diet is poor in vitamin B12 (this problem is common among vegans, who don’t eat meat, eggs, cheese and fish), prickling and burning in the hands and feet may warn you that it’s time to fill body’s needs for essential nutrients.

#5. Medications – certain drugs, like chemotherapy, can cause numbness in the arms as a side effect.

Be aware that severe sudden numbness in one or both arms, accompanied by headache, fatigue, speech or understanding problems, may be a sign of stroke that requires immediate medical care.

If exact cause is not about life-threatening disorder, your doctor may recommend you over-the-counter painkillers, braces or splints. If these options appear ineffective, steroid injections or surgery may help.

Some people get relief after applying ice and repeating stretching exercises, which can decrease tension in the muscles.

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