Read below about thumb numbness, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your thumb numbness 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.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having thumb numbness

Take Quiz

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Thumb Numbness

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced thumb numbness. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow

    Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow is the compression of the ulnar nerve, causing numbness and/or weakness in the hands.

    Mild symptoms resolve on their own, severe disease resolves with surgery

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    hand weakness, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand, pain in one elbow, pain in one forearm
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Recovery time varies depending on treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, weakness in one hand, pain in both hands
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Thumb Numbness Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having thumb numbness.

    Take Quiz
  3. 3.Pinched Nerve in the Neck

    With age, disks separating the cervical vertebrae (which are the bones of your spine in your neck) lose height as well as lose water content, becoming stiffer. The vertebrae move closer together, and nerves that exit between these bones may be pinched, causing pain to travel down the nerve as it passes through the arm. The pain is usually sharp, and some people report a "pins and needles" sensation or even complete numbness.

    Majority of patients get better with time (weeks to months).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain that radiates down arm, pain in the back of the neck, severe shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

    Nerve damage in the limbs can be caused by diabetes, toxic substances, immune system issues and low vitamin levels. However, in about one of every four cases no cause can be found and then the condition is called 'idiopathic'. Symptoms of nerve damage can be (burning) pain sensations, numbness, tingling and weakness in hands, feet or lower legs.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Thumb Numbness

  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Turn your head toward the side of your body that is hurting. Lift your head up as someone else pushes down on your head. Does this cause greater pain in your upper body? (This is known as Spurling's test.)
  • Q.Does the numbness affect one hand or both hands?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our thumb numbness symptom checker to find out more.

Take Quiz

Thumb Numbness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced thumb numbness have also experienced:

    • 12% Thumb Pain
    • 8% Swollen Thumb
    • 7% Pain in One Shoulder
  • People who have experienced thumb numbness had symptoms persist for:

    • 43% Less Than a Day
    • 24% Over a Month
    • 16% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced thumb numbness were most often matched with:

    • 33% Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow
    • 33% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • 33% Pinched Nerve in the Neck
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having thumb numbness

Take Quiz