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Learn about your hand tingling, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your hand tingling from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Hand Tingling Checker

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Your Hand Tingling May Also be Known as:
Crawling sensation
Crawling sensation on the hand
Electric sensation
Electric sensation in the hand
Finger is tingling
Finger pins and needles
Hand is tingling
Hand numbness
Hand pins and needles

Hand Tingling Symptoms

Hand tingling refers to the annoying, almost shock-like sensation that can travel all through the hands and fingers and sometimes up the arms to the neck or jaw. Some causes are quite benign and harmless, but with others the tingling can be a warning sign of conditions in need of treatment.

Tingling in the hand, or elsewhere in the body, is sometimes called a "pins-and-needles sensation" or "falling asleep" of the hand.

Hand tingling characteristics:

  • A prickly, pins-and-needles sensation in the hand and fingers, often extending up the arm to the neck and shoulder.
  • One or both hands may be affected.
  • Numbness.
  • Burning pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Reduced range of motion.
  • Weakness.
  • Tightness in the forearm muscles.

Who is most often affected by hand tingling symptoms?

  • Desk workers who sit using a keyboard and mouse for several hours each day.
  • Anyone with damage to the nerves and/or the circulatory system.

Are hand tingling symptoms serious?

  • A mild case of tingling, especially on waking up in the morning, that resolves quickly is not serious.
  • A more persistent case that begins gradually is a concern. Continued nerve damage can lead to permanent numbness and loss of sensation in the hands.
  • Tingling in only the left hand can be a warning of a heart attack, especially if the tingling begins suddenly and extends up the arm and into the jaw.

Hand Tingling Causes Overview

Most common hand tingling cause types:

  • Direct trauma such as fractures, dislocations, strains, and sprains.
  • Anatomic abnormalities.
  • Nerve damage:

    • Compression or entrapment of the nerves affecting the hand, including those in the cervical spine (the neck.)
    • Pinched nerve – the nerve is caught under or between bone, cartilage, tendons, or muscles and is under pressure. This may be due to injury, repetitive use, or just sleeping in "wrong" position.
    • Poor posture, especially when sitting in front of a computer screen for long hours.
    • Stress and anxiety, which may cause subconscious tensing of muscles to the point of nerve or circulatory damage.
    • Neurologic diseases.
    • Tumor or carcinoma.
  • Vascular (blood vessel) damage:

    • Any condition affecting the radial and ulnar arteries, which supply blood to the hand.
    • Hardening of the arteries, which slows and blocks circulation.
    • Inflammation of the arteries.
    • Dehydration.
    • Frostbite, which causes severe constriction of the blood vessels.
    • Poor circulation due to lack of exercise.
    • Interference with circulation due to tight clothes.

Less common hand tingling cause types:

  • Autoimmune disorders:

    • An autoimmune response to a viral illness, with hand tingling symptoms occurring after the illness seems to be over.
    • Almost any active autoimmune disorder can cause chronic inflammation.
  • Metabolic disorders, which interfere with nerve functioning.

    • Thyroid disease.
    • Other endocrine diseases.

Rare and unusual hand tingling cause types:

  • Pregnancy, due to swelling that may compress the nerves in the wrists – especially when lying down.
  • Certain viral infections.
  • Toxins:

    • Ingesting of metals, through supplements or work exposure.
    • Antiretroviral drugs.
    • Chemotherapy.
  • Nutritional deficiencies:
  • Lack of certain B vitamins in the diet causes a form of anemia and neuropathy.
  • Alcoholism is a cause of B vitamin deficiency and neuropathy.

Top 8 Hand Tingling Causes

  1. 1.Low Calcium Level

    Hypocalcemia is a condition where there is not enough calcium in the blood. Calcium is a mineral contained in the blood, which helps the heart and other muscles function properly, and is needed to maintain strong teeth and bones.

    You should seek advice and a blood test from your primary care physician. To treat hypocalcemia, take a calcium and vitamin D supplement daily, and increase consumption of dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. You should also avoid drinking too many soft drinks, which contain phosphates - a chemical that can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium. Avoiding salty foods is also helpful, as salt makes the body lose calcium.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, general numbness, tingling foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Hyperventiliation Syndrome

    In hyperventilation syndrome, one can experience shortness of breath and often a person breaths fast and heavily. There is usually no physical problem causing these symptoms, and symptoms are often caused by anxiety, stress or emotions. Next to shortness of breath, one can experience symptoms of chest pain, palpitations or tingling in hands, feet and face. These symptoms occur commonly as attacks.

    You should go see your primary care doctor, who can diagnose you by interview and physical exam during an attack of hyperventilation. Most people get better with treatment. Treatment of an acute attack often includes reassuring and breathing instructions and sometimes taking a tranquilizer. Treatment to avoid recurrent episodes may include behavioural therapy, physiotherapy with breathing exercises and medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    anxiety, dizziness, shortness of breath, racing heart beat, chest pain
    Symptoms that always occur with hyperventiliation syndrome:
    rapid, deep breaths
    Symptoms that never occur with hyperventiliation syndrome:
    shortness of breath after a few stairs
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    You needs to go to the hospital by ambulance or as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the fewer treatment options available and the worse the outcome.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, new headache, arm numbness, being severely ill, leg numbness
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  4. 4.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    Call 911 immediately. The longer you wait, the fewer treatment options available and the worse the outcome.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, new headache, being severely ill, stiff neck, arm weakness
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

    Hand Tingling Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having hand tingling.

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  5. 5.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    You needs to go to the hospital by ambulance or as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the fewer treatment options available and the worse the outcome.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    being severely ill, new headache, stiff neck, dizziness, vision changes
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  6. 6.Multiple Sclerosis (Ms)

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is involved in carrying nerve signals so this damage causes interruptions in nerve signaling.

    You should visit your primary care physician as soon as possible to further discuss your symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    severe fatigue, constipation, numbness, arm weakness, decreased sex drive
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Diabetic Neuropathy

    Diabetic neuropathy is a condition where pain, numbness, weakness, and motor loss occur in the limbs due to the effects of diabetes on the nerves.

    You should visit your primary care physician when convenient, a diagnosis can be made with testing. If diagnosed, your physician can create a treatment plan to manage the pain and motor restrictions that come with this condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, diarrhea
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Arsenic Poisoning

    Arsenic is a naturally occurring and hazardous substance. Arsenic poisoning results in a syndrome of medical consequences due to arsenic exposure, either accidental, intentional or occupational.

    Proceed to the emergency room immediately.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    vomiting or diarrhea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), being severely ill, fatigue, nausea
    Symptoms that always occur with arsenic poisoning:
    vomiting or diarrhea, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Hand Tingling Treatments and Relief

Seek immediate hand tingling treatment in the emergency room or call 911 if:

  • You experience sudden tingling in only the left hand. Hypertension and heart attack may cause this.
  • You experience numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, and face, along with dizziness, headache, blurred vision, and slurred speech. These are symptoms of transient ischemic attack, or "mini-stroke." This is usually a warning sign of impending stroke and should be seen immediately.

Schedule an appointment if:

  • The hand tingling comes on gradually and persists for days or weeks.
  • You would like to try physical therapy to relieve the pressure on a trapped or pinched nerve.
  • You would like to try acupuncture and therapeutic massage to ease pain and improve circulation.

Hand tingling remedies that you can try at home:

  • Rest.
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain.
  • Use splinting or padding to ease pressure on the most affected spots during the activity that causes pain.
  • Wear a brace that keeps the wrist straight while you are sleeping.
  • Make adjustments in work stations and in techniques used for weightlifting or other sports.
  • Make lifestyle changes in exercise, sleep, diet, and stress management to improve overall fitness and circulation.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Hand Tingling

  • Q.How long has your hand been numb?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.About your [shoulder], do you notice any of the following?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our hand tingling symptom checker.

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Hand Tingling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced hand tingling have also experienced:

    • 5% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 5% Tingling Foot
    • 4% Tingling Forearm
  • People who have experienced hand tingling had symptoms persist for:

    • 37% Less Than a Day
    • 30% Over a Month
    • 16% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced hand tingling were most often matched with:

    • 3% Low Calcium Level
    • 1% Hyperventiliation Syndrome

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Hand Tingling Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having hand tingling.

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