Read below about weakness in both hands, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your weakness in both hands 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.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Weakness in Both Hands

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

  1. 1.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
  2. 2.Brachial Plexopathy (Shoulder Nerve Issue)

    The brachial plexus is a complex nerve network located in the upper chest and shoulder region. Nerves can be explained as 'electric wires' of the body, passing through signals from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that lies deep to the collar bone, which supplies the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand. When this bundle of nerves is (partially) damaged, one speaks of a 'plexopathy'. Several causes of damage can be injury or forceful trauma, inflammation or infection. A commonly known cause is sports injury in contact sports like football and rugby. Symptoms can include pain, burning, numbness and weakness in the shoulder and arm on one side, sometimes shooting through the arm to the hand. An acute (sports) injury that causes this condition is often called 'burners' or 'stingers' because of the burning and stinging type of pain. When the cause is inflammation of the nerves, it is often called the Parsonage-Turner syndrome.

    The severity of this condition is highly variable, and dependent on the amount of damage caused to the nerves. Brachial plexus injury following surgery usually has a good prognosis. Recovery times range from 2 weeks to 2 years.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, shoulder pain that shoots to the arm, arm weakness, numbness in one arm, shoulder pain
    Symptoms that never occur with brachial plexopathy (shoulder nerve issue):
    pain in the front middle part of the neck
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, you will feel pain upon turning your wrist, grasping anything, or making a fist.

    4-6 weeks with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, thumb pain, hand weakness, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand
    Symptoms that always occur with de quervain's tenosynovitis:
    thumb pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  4. 4.Myasthenia Gravis (Over 50)

    Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the connection between nerves and muscles.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    weakness, general weakness, trouble swallowing, voice change, double vision
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  5. 5.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Als)

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. This progressive, neurodegenerative disease affects nerve cells.

    Lifelong

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance, difficulty concentrating, difficulty walking, hoarse voice
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Guillain - Barre Syndrome

    Certain immune system conditions can damage the peripheral nervous system (PNS) which connect the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    diarrhea, shortness of breath, constipation, general numbness, spontaneous back pain
    Symptoms that always occur with guillain-barre syndrome:
    progressive weakness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Weakness in Both Hands

  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Have someone feel for your pulse (at the wrist) on the side of your body that hurts. Now, turn your head to that side. Does the pulse go away? (This is known as the Adson's test.)
  • Q.Lightly tap on your inner wrist. Does this cause your symptoms to reappear?
  • 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.)

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our weakness in both hands symptom checker to find out more.

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Weakness in Both Hands Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced weakness in both hands have also experienced:

    • 5% Hand Tingling
    • 5% Fatigue
    • 3% Pain in Both Hands
  • People who have experienced weakness in both hands had symptoms persist for:

    • 37% Over a Month
    • 24% Less Than a Day
    • 21% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced weakness in both hands were most often matched with:

    • 33% Pinched Nerve in the Neck
    • 33% Brachial Plexopathy (Shoulder Nerve Issue)
    • 33% De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • 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 weakness in both hands

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