When to see a doctorBy Mayo Clinic staff
It's important to determine the cause of hand numbness. If numbness persists or spreads to other parts of your body, consult your doctor for an evaluation. Treatment of numbness in hands depends on the underlying cause.
Call 911 or get emergency medical help if your numbness:
- Begins suddenly, particularly if it's accompanied by weakness or paralysis, confusion, difficulty talking, dizziness, or a sudden, severe headache
Schedule an office visit if your numbness:
- Begins or worsens gradually and persists
- Spreads to other parts of the body
- Affects both sides of the body
- Comes and goes
- Seems related to certain tasks or activities, particularly repetitive motions
- Affects only a part of your hand, such as a finger
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Stroke: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/detail_stroke.htm. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Rosenfeld J, et al. Numbness: A practical guide for family physicians. American Academy of Neurology. http://www.aan.com/go/education/curricula/family/chapter3/section1. Accessed Feb. 2, 2013.
- Raynaud's disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/raynaud/ray_all.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Numbness. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/symptoms/numbness/index.aspx. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Neuropathy (nerve damage). American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Stabler SP. Vitamin B12 deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:149.
- Cervical spondylosis (arthritis of the neck). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00369. Accessed Feb. 4, 2013.
- Ganglion (cyst) of the wrist. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00006. Accessed Feb. 4, 2013.
- Syrinx. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec16/ch224/ch224j.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2013.