Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

Arm Weakness

Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

By Healthgrades Editorial Staff Last Updated: November 23, 2018 Was this helpful?

Arm weakness refers to a loss of strength in the arm and the inability to move an arm because of decreased muscle strength. It can happen spontaneously or progress slowly over time.

Weakness in the arm may occur on one or both sides of the body, may accompany weakness in other parts of the body, and may occur with a variety other symptoms, including arm pain.

If you have arm weakness, you may have difficulty simply moving the affected arm, or you may have difficulty performing daily tasks.

In some cases, physical therapy may help to improve arm strength. If arm weakness occurs with pain, pain medication may assist in resolving both symptoms. Optimal treatment for arm weakness is dependent on the underlying cause of the weakness.

Usual causes of arm weakness include injury to, or infection of, the arm; muscle wasting, such as from certain muscular disorders or from lack of use; nerve damage or compression at the vertebral column; or certain hereditary conditions. Stroke is a serious and potentially life-threatening cause of sudden arm weakness that appears on one side of the body – a true medical emergency. Temporary arm weakness may be caused by a general infection, such as the common cold.

While arm weakness is generally not serious, arm weakness can be a sign of stroke. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you experience serious symptoms that may indicate a stroke, such as a sudden, severe headache; loss of consciousness; confusion; sudden numbness or paralysis, especially if it occurs on one side of the body; vision changes, or difficulty speaking.

If your arm weakness is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

Arm weakness may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Arm weakness may accompany other symptoms affecting the musculoskeletal system including:

Arm weakness may accompany other symptoms affecting the nervous system (brain, nerves, and spinal cord) including:

  • Confusion or loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Paralysis

Arm weakness may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Malaise or lethargy
  • Redness, warmth or swelling

In some cases, arm weakness may be a symptom of a life-threatening condition, such as a stroke or serious infection, that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Garbled or slurred speech
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part
  • Sudden weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of the body
  • Vision changes or vision loss
  • Worst headache of your life

Arm weakness can arise from a variety of events or disorders that affect the muscles, bones, joints, nervous system, or metabolism. Arm weakness can be accompanied by more generalized weakness, such as is common with certain hereditary disorders, or it may be the result of a specific injury to the arm.

Arm weakness may be caused by damage to the muscles or bones of the arm or certain muscular and skeletal diseases including:

  • Arm injury
  • Arthritis
  • Cyst (benign sac that contains fluid, air, or other materials)
  • Fractured or broken bone
  • Infection of the soft tissues of the arm
  • Muscular dystrophy (inherited disorder that causes a progressive loss of muscle tissue and muscle weakness)
  • Myopathy (muscle disease that results in muscle weakness)
  • Tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon)

Arm weakness can also be caused by problems with the nervous system including:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; severe neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and disability)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy (group of disorders that impair movement, balance and posture)
  • Multiple sclerosis (disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other problems)
  • Myasthenia gravis (autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that causes muscle weakness)
  • Nerve entrapment or compression, such as of the ulnar nerve in the arm
  • Radiculopathy (compression of a nerve in the spine)
  • Severed nerve

Arm weakness can also be caused by a variety of systemic conditions including:

  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Fibromyalgia (chronic condition that causes pain, stiffness and tenderness)
  • Heavy metal poisoning such as lead poisoning
  • Malnutrition
  • Thyroid problems
  • Toxic ingestion, such as eating poisonous plants, mushrooms or chemicals

In some cases, arm weakness may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. These include:

  • Brain tumor
  • Severe infection, accompanied by high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack (temporary stroke- symptoms that may be a warning sign of an impending stroke)

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your arm weakness including:

  • How long have you felt weakness in your arm?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?
  • Have you had any recent infections?
  • Have you had any recent injuries?
  • Do you have a family history of autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis?

Arm weakness itself is not usually a serious condition. Mild arm weakness may be temporary and may resolve spontaneously.

Because arm weakness can be due to serious diseases, however, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage.

Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:

  • Paralysis
  • Permanent loss of coordination
  • Permanent loss of sensation
  • Spread of cancer
  • Spread of infection

Was this helpful? Bones, Joints and Muscles Healthgrades Editorial Staff Last Review Date: 2018 Nov 23

Source: https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/bones-joints-and-muscles/arm-weakness

Radial Tunnel Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

Radial tunnel syndrome is a set of symptoms that include fatigue or a dull, aching pain at the top of the forearm with use. Although less common, symptoms can also occur at the back of the hand or wrist.

The symptoms are caused by pressure on the radial nerve, usually at the elbow. The radial nerve is one of the three main nerves in the arm. It runs from the neck to the back of the upper arm.

Next, it crosses the outside of the elbow and goes down to the forearm and hand. At the elbow, the radial nerve enters a narrow tunnel formed by muscles, tendon, and bone.

This is called the radial tunnel.

What are the symptoms of radial tunnel syndrome?

Radial tunnel syndrome causes dull aching pain at the top of the forearm, to the outside of the elbow, or the back of the hand. Patients less often describe the pain as cutting, piercing, or stabbing. It happens most often when the person straightens his or her wrist or fingers.

Radial tunnel syndrome can cause fatigue and weakness in the forearm muscles and weakness in the wrist.

Radial tunnel syndrome affects the muscles, not the nerves, so it does not cause tingling or numbness in the arm, wrist, or fingers.

What causes radial tunnel syndrome?

Any time the radial nerve is pinched anywhere along its length, it can cause pain. The tunnel at the elbow is one of the most common spots the nerve gets pinched or squeezed because it travels between muscle bellies and under facial bands. (Facial bands are tissue fibers that enclose, separate, or bind together muscle, organs, or other soft structures of the body.)

Overuse of the arm to push or pull and overuse of the hand by gripping, pinching, or bending the wrist can irritate the nerve and cause pain. Repeating the same movement, such as twisting the arm or wrist on the job or playing sports, squeezes the radial nerve. Over time, this can cause radial tunnel syndrome.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/29/2015.

References

  • Naam H, Nemani S. Radial Tunnel Syndrome. Orthop Clin North Am. 2012; Oct 43(4):529-36.
  • Floranda EE, Jacobs BC. Evaluation and Treatment of Upper Extremity Nerve Entrapment Syndromes. Prim Care. 2013;Dec;40(4):925-43.
  • Hagert E, Hagert CG. Upper Extremity Nerve Entrapments: The Axillary and Radial Nerves-Clinical Diagnosis and Surgical Treatment. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 2014; July 134(1):71-80.
  • Neal SL, Karl B. Fields KB. Peripheral Nerve Entrapment and Injury in the Upper Extremity. Am Fam Physician.2010:81(2): 147-155.
  • Hainline, BW, Peripheral Nerve Injury in Sports. CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology. 2014;20(6, Sports Neurology):1605-1628.

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Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15658-radial-tunnel-syndrome

What to Do If You Have Hand Weakness

Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

If you have hand weakness or if you have been experiencing a sensation of ‘heaviness’ in one or both of your hands, there could be a number of different reasons for your problem. Sudden hand weakness is very concerning and could be a sign of a stroke which is a serious medical emergency.

However, if you have had a nagging, persistent hand weakness, you will almost certainly find out that your hand weakness is not related to a serious medical problem, such as a stroke. The most common causes of hand weakness are usually not serious or life-threatening.

Hand weakness that lasts for weeks or months is typically caused by a treatable medical problem. Most of the time, hand weakness can get worse if it is not addressed in a timely manner. This is why you definitely should not postpone getting medical attention if you occasionally have trouble moving your hand or if your hand has been gradually getting weaker.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common causes of hand weakness, hand discomfort and hand pain.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by overuse of the hand, arm or wrist, which is often related to repetitive movements such as operating machinery, computer use or typing.

Carpal tunnel syndrome results from swelling on the inside of the wrist. The swelling compresses the nerves that travel through a 'tunnel' of wrist bones. This results in pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and lack of coordination of the hand. The discomfort and weakness can travel up the arm if the swelling and pressure worsens.

Diagnosis

Your doctor, nurse practitioner or physical therapist can typically diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome by listening to your explanation of your symptoms and examining your hand and arm. Sometimes a nerve conduction study is needed to confirm the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a treatable problem. Rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications usually help. A wrist brace and adjustment of the wrist motion during work can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from getting worse. And for the most severe cases, a fairly simple surgical procedure to relieve the pressure usually takes care of the problem permanently.

Diabetes is a treatable medical illness. One of the complications of diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy is an injury of one or more nerves of the body, most often affecting the hands or feet. Neuropathy can cause weakness, a sense of heaviness, trouble coordinating the movements of the affected limb, pain, tingling or a burning sensation.

Diagnosis

Most people who have diabetic neuropathy are aware that they have diabetes, but in some instances, diabetic neuropathy can be the first sign of diabetes.

Your doctor can detect diabetic neuropathy your description of your complaints and a physical examination. Often, a nerve conduction study is needed to define the severity and the type of neuropathy. Blood tests can identify whether you have diabetes.

Treatment

Next steps include diabetes management, which can help your symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, especially if they have not been present for too long.

While diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, there are a number of causes of neuropathy besides diabetes, and they all can cause hand weakness. Your doctor may need to order some blood tests to determine whether you have neuropathy related to an inflammatory illness, an autoimmune condition, a metabolic problem, a nutritional deficiency, or a medication side effect.

Most of the time, neuropathy causes numbness, pain or weakness of the hands and feet, regardless of the cause. Most neuropathies can improve if the cause is diagnosed and medically treated.

Arthritis causes pain and swelling of the joints. This can result in a sensation of weakness and trouble with movement, particularly in the hands. If you have arthritis, you might have ignored the milder, early symptoms. But arthritis can worsen over time, and for many people with arthritis, it is difficult to continue to ignore it, especially when it starts to cause weakness.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor can diagnose arthritis your account of hand weakness, your physical examination, and possibly blood tests and X-rays. Arthritis is a painful condition that is treatable with anti inflammatory medications and therapy, and it is not life-threatening.

Most people experience a pinched nerve at some point in life. The medical term for a pinched nerve root in the spine is radiculopathy. As a nerve enters or exits the spine (backbone) it may be 'pinched' and squeezed by swelling around the spine or by pressure from the bone or joints. This typically results in pain or weakness of the arm or leg.

A pinched nerve in the neck (which is at the level of the cervical spine) may cause hand weakness because the cervical spine controls the hand. Sometimes, a pinched nerve in the neck also causes neck pain.

Diagnosis

Your doctor or physical therapist can tell if you have a pinched nerve your physical examination. Usually, nerve conduction studies or imaging tests such as cervical spine CT scan or cervical spine MRI are needed to definitively identify the area and the extent of the pinched nerve.

Treatment

Some people who have a pinched nerve are fortunate enough to have full improvement without any therapy or medication. A pinched nerve during pregnancy, for example, often resolves on its own without any intervention.

Usually, the management of a pinched nerve requires physical therapy, which is typically very effective. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory injections or injections with pain medications are needed. In persistent situations, surgery may be necessary.

A herniated disc is a displacement of the cartilage that supports and anchors the spine. A herniated disc may press on the spine or on the nerves. Your spine and your nerves control the sensation and movement of your body. So a herniated disc in the upper part of the spine can produce pain and/or weakness of the muscles of the hand or arm.

Diagnosis

Your doctor can diagnose a herniated disc your history of symptoms and your physical examination. An imaging test such as a spine X-ray, a spine CT scan or spine MRI is usually necessary to visualize how severe the problem is.

Treatment

A herniated disc can be treated with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, or pain medication. A herniated disc can be a persistent problem, causing nagging pain or weakness.

Surgery may be needed in some situations. However, in many situations of persistent pain and weakness resulting from a herniated disc, surgery might not repair the problem. Thus, surgery is not always the right option for herniated disc, even when the symptoms are persistent.

If you have a herniated disc, it is usually recommended to take extra care when doing physical activities, especially when it comes to lifting heavy objects.

Saturday night palsy is a specific kind of nerve compression that happens after one of the nerves in the upper part of the arm, the radial nerve, is compressed, usually from sleeping in a position that presses on the nerve for hours.

It is stereotypically associated with falling asleep in a slumped over position after having had too much to drink, hence the term ‘Saturday night palsy.’ However, any cause of sleeping in a position that places too much pressure on the radial nerve for an extended period of time can cause the same type of hand weakness.

Treatment

The condition can resolve without medical or surgical intervention, but sometimes it is associated with serious trauma to the arm, requiring medical or surgical treatment.

If you wake up with sudden hand weakness, especially if you have consumed alcohol the night before, it is vital to get medical attention immediately because you could have suffered a traumatic injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Ulnar neuropathy is damage to a nerve called the ulnar nerve. This nerve, which controls arm and hand movement, is most often compressed at the elbow. Mild compression of the ulnar nerve is caused by leaning on the arm, which produces a tingling sensation often referred to as bumping the 'funny bone.'

Damage to the ulnar nerve from traumatic injury, arthritis, compression or infection causes hand and arm weakness and tingling or loss of sensation, particularly affecting the ring finger.

If you experience sudden weakness, you need to get emergency medical attention by calling 911. While a stroke can cause hand weakness, there are a number of causes of hand weakness that are more common than stroke and less serious than a stroke. Hand and arm tingling, similarly, can be triggered by a number of different causes.

If you have had gradually worsening weakness or pain for weeks or months, you are not having a stroke. Nevertheless, it is important to make an appointment to see your doctor because most of the common problems that cause hand weakness can be more effectively treated if they are diagnosed and medically managed shortly after the symptoms begin.

Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/causes-of-hand-weakness-4070812

What to Know About Muscle Weakness Symptoms and Causes

Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

By Healthgrades Editorial Staff Last Updated: December 19, 2018 Was this helpful?

Muscle weakness, or myasthenia, is a decrease in strength in one or more muscles. It is a common symptom of muscular, neurological and metabolic disorders.

Muscular diseases, such as muscular dystrophy and dermatomyositis (disorder characterized by muscle inflammation), are common causes of muscle weakness.

Other common causes include neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune nerve disorder), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), stroke, and even a pinched nerve.

The autoimmune neuromuscular disorder known as myasthenia gravis is accompanied by muscle weakness along with drooping eyelids and double vision.

Metabolic disorders, such as Addison’s disease and hyperthyroidism, can lead to weakness in one muscle or a group of muscles. In rare cases, muscle weakness may be a symptom of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (an inherited disorder affecting the peripheral nerves). Other possible causes of muscle weakness include paralytic shellfish poisoning, botulism, and low levels of potassium in the blood.

Depending on the cause, weakness may occur in one muscle, a group of muscles, or all the muscles, and it may be accompanied by pain, atrophy, cramping, or other types of muscular symptoms.

In some cases, muscle weakness that happens suddenly, especially on one side of the body, can be a sign of stroke. If it occurs along with severe abdominal pain, it may by a symptom of botulism.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have serious symptoms, such as a sudden change in vision, confusion, loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, severe abdominal pain, severe headache, and paralysis or inability to move a body part.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for muscle weakness but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.

Muscle weakness may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the muscles may also involve other body systems.

Muscle weakness may accompany other symptoms affecting the muscles including:

  • Burning feeling
  • Frequent episodes of falling
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain
  • Paralysis
  • Pins-and-needles (prickling) sensation
  • Twitching

Muscle weakness may accompany symptoms that are related to other body systems including:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty with speaking and swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting or change in level of consciousness or lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Gradual difficulty walking and speaking, memory loss
  • Headache
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as protruding eyes, unexplained weight loss, heat intolerance, perspiration, and goiter
  • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis, such as weakness, numbness or tingling, vision problems, unsteady walk, fatigue, and depression
  • Unexplained weight loss

In some cases, muscle weakness can be life threatening, especially if it occurs suddenly and on one side of the body. Seek immediate medical care(call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening sudden symptoms including:

  • Abnormal pupil size or nonreactivity to light
  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain
  • Worst headache of your life

Muscle weakness is a decrease in muscle strength, and it can be caused by a neurologic, muscular or metabolic disorder. Neurologic disorders causing muscle weakness include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune nerve disorder), stroke, or even a pinched nerve.

Muscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy and dermatomyositis, are also common causes of muscular weakness. Metabolic conditions that can lead to weakness include Addison’s disease, low sodium or potassium levels, and hyperparathyroidism.

Ingestion of toxic substance, such as insecticides, nerve gas, or paralytic shellfish poisoning, can cause muscle or nerve damage along with muscle weakness.

Muscle weakness can also result from blood disorders, such as anemia and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Muscle weakness may have metabolic causes including:

  • Addison’s disease (deceased production of hormones by the adrenal glands)
  • Hyperparathroidism (overactive parathyroid glands)
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium)
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium)

Muscle weakness may have neurological causes including:

  • Bell’s palsy (swollen or inflamed nerve that controls facial muscles)
  • Cerebral palsy (group of conditions affecting the brain and nervous system functions)
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (inherited disorder affecting the peripheral nerves)
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (autoimmune nerve disorder)
  • Multiple sclerosis (disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, causing weakness, coordination and balance difficulties, and other problems)
  • Nerve entrapment or compression, such as of the ulnar nerve in the arm
  • Stroke

Muscle weakness may have muscular disease causes including:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a severe neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and disability)
  • Dermatomyositis (condition characterized by muscle inflammation and skin rash)
  • Muscular dystrophy (inherited disorder that causes a progressive loss of muscle tissue and muscle weakness)

Muscle weakness may be due to toxins including:

  • Botulism (serious food poisoning caused by Clostridium botulinum bacterium)
  • Insecticide ingestion
  • Nerve gas exposure
  • Paralytic shellfish poisoning

Muscle weakness may have other causes including:

  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Overuse injury (overuse of a muscle)
  • Polymyositis (widespread inflammation and weakness of muscles)

In some cases, muscle weakness may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These conditions include:

  • Botulism (serious food poisoning caused by Clostridium botulinum bacterium)
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack (temporary stroke- symptoms that may be a warning sign of an impending stroke)

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your muscle weakness including:

  • How long have you felt muscle weakness?
  • Where do you feel muscle weakness?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?
  • What medications are you taking?

Because muscle weakness can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:

  • Loss of mobility
  • Paralysis
  • Permanent loss of sensation
  • Permanent nerve damage (due to a pinched nerve), including paralysis
  • Spread of infection

Was this helpful? Bones, Joints and Muscles Healthgrades Editorial Staff Last Review Date: 2018 Dec 19

Source: https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/bones-joints-and-muscles/muscle-weakness

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

  • What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatments
  • Prevention

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand.

It happens because of pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of your arm, goes through a passage in your wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in your hand. The median controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and the movement of all your fingers except your pinky.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel include:

  • Burning, tingling, or itching numbness in your palm and thumb or your index and middle fingers
  • Weakness in your hand and trouble holding things
  • Shock- feelings that move into your fingers
  • Tingling that moves up into your arm

You might first notice that your fingers “fall asleep” and become numb at night. It usually happens because of how you hold your hand while you sleep.

In the morning, you may wake up with numbness and tingling in your hands that may run all the way to your shoulder. During the day, your symptoms might flare up while you’re holding something with your wrist bent, when you’re driving or reading a book.

Early on in the condition, shaking out your hands might help you feel better. But after some time, it may not make the numbness go away.

As carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse, you may have less grip strength because the muscles in your hand shrink. You’ll also have more pain and muscle cramping.

Your median nerve can’t work the way it should because of the irritation or pressure around it. This leads to:

  • Slower nerve impulses
  • Less feeling in your fingers
  • Less strength and coordination, especially the ability to use your thumb to pinch

Often, people don't know what brought on their carpal tunnel syndrome. It can be due to:

You might have a higher risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome if you:

  • Are a woman. Women are three times more ly than men to get it. This might be because they tend to have smaller carpal tunnels.
  • Have a family member with small carpal tunnels
  • Have a job in which you make the same motions with your arm, hand, or wrist over and over, such as an assembly line worker, sewer or knitter, baker, cashier, hairstylist, or musician
  • Fracture or dislocate your wrist

Your doctor may tap the palm side of your wrist, a test called Tinel sign, or fully flex your wrist with your arms extended. They might also do tests including:

  • Imaging tests. X-rays, ultrasounds, or MRI exams can let your doctor look at your bones and tissues.
  • Electromyogram. Your doctor puts a thin electrode into a muscle to measure its electrical activity.
  • Nerve conduction studies. Your doctor tapes electrodes to your skin to measure the signals in the nerves of your hand and arm.

Your treatment will depend on your symptoms and how far your condition has progressed. You might need:

  • Lifestyle changes. If repetitive motion is causing your symptoms, take breaks more often or do a bit less of the activity that’s causing you pain.
  • Exercises. Stretching or strengthening moves can make you feel better. Nerve gliding exercises can help the nerve move better within your carpal tunnel.
  • Immobilization. Your doctor may tell you to wear a splint to keep your wrist from moving and to lessen pressure on your nerves. You may wear one at night to help get rid of that numbness or tingling feeling. This can help you sleep better and rest your median nerve.
  • Medication. Your doctor may give you anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid shots to curb swelling.
  • Surgery. If none of those treatments works, you might have an operation called carpal tunnel release that increases the size of the tunnel and eases the pressure on your nerve.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome and don't treat it, the symptoms can last a long time and get worse. They could also go away and then come back. When you get a diagnosis early, the condition is easier to treat. You can avoid permanent muscle damage and keep your hand working the way it should.

To avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, try to:

  • Keep your wrists straight.
  • Use a splint or brace that helps keep your wrist in a neutral position.
  • Avoid flexing and extending your wrists over and over again.
  • Keep your hands warm.
  • Take breaks whenever you can.
  • Put your hands and wrists in the right position while you work.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

National Institutes of Health.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “The Many Faces of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

Mayo Clinic: “Carpel tunnel syndrome.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Symptoms

Source: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome

Weakness in Hands | 9 Possible Causes for Hand Weakness | Buoy

Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced hand weakness. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition of numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by compression of the mediannerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Causes include overuse of the wrist and hand, especially highly repetitive activities such as typing or wo…

Read more

Ulnar nerve entrapment of elbow

Ulnar nerve entrapment of elbow is also called cubital tunnel syndrome. The ulnar nerve begins at the spinal cord in the neck and runs down the arm into the hand. This very long nerve can become compressed, or entrapped, by other structures at certain points along the way. Entrapment often happens in the cubital tunnel, which is the narrow passage at the inside of the elbow.

The exact cause for entrapment may not be known. Fluid buildup and swelling inside the elbow; previous elbow fracture or dislocation; or leaning on the elbow for long periods of time can put pressure on the ulnar nerve inside the cubital tunnel.

Symptoms include numbness and tingling of the hand and fingers, sometimes leading to weakness and even muscle wasting in the hand.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, x-ray, and nerve conduction studies.

Treatment begins with wearing a supportive brace and adjusting activities to avoid further irritating the nerve. Surgery is usually not needed unless the nerve compression is causing weakness and loss of use in the hand.

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

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.

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

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the side of the elbow.

It is caused by using the arm in repetitive motion, such as swinging a tennis racquet. The forearm muscles become weakened and damaged from overuse, putting strain on the tendons.

Most susceptible are people over 30 who work using overhead motion of the arm. Auto mechanics, painters, carpenters, and butchers are often affected, as well as anyone playing racquet sports,.

Symptoms begin gradually and consist of burning pain on the outside of the elbow, with loss of grip strength.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination with simple neurological tests that use the forearm muscles, such as shaking hands. X-rays or MRI may also be ordered.

Treatment involves rest; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers; physical therapy; an arm brace just below the elbow; and sometimes steroid injections. Surgery is rarely needed.

Using the right equipment, as well as proper technique for overhead motions of the arm, can help prevent the condition.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: elbow pain, pain in one elbow, hand weakness, pain in the thumb side of the elbow, elbow pain from overuse

Symptoms that always occur with tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis): elbow pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Hand Weakness Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your hand weakness

Repetitive strain injury of the hand

Repetitive strain injury of the hand is caused by consistent repetitive use.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: hand numbness, hand weakness, hand pain from overuse

Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the hand: hand pain from overuse

Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the hand: hand injury, severe hand pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)

Medial epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow) is similar to it's opposite cousin (Lateral Epicondylitis- Tennis Elbow). Both are caused by the overuse of the elbow, but this one is more frequent in golfers, bowlers, archers, and weight lifters.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: elbow pain, pain in one elbow, elbow pain from overuse, pain in the pinky side of the elbow

Symptoms that always occur with golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis): elbow pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Wrist bone (scaphoid) fracture

A fracture is the medical term for a broken bone. When a person falls on their outstretched hand, the scaphoid is the bone that is most ly to break. It is located on the thumb side of the wrist, in the area where the wrist bends.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: hand weakness, swollen thumb, wrist pain that gets worse when gripping something, difficulty moving the thumb, wrist pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Kienbock disease

Kienbock Disease is a condition where the blood going to one of the small bones in the wrist is disrupted, causing the bone to die and the wrist to become stiff and painful. The cause is not known but may be related to trauma to the wrist.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: hand weakness, pain in the back of the wrist, wrist pain from an injury, wrist pain that gets worse when gripping something, difficulty moving the wrist

Symptoms that always occur with kienbock disease: wrist pain from an injury, pain in the back of the wrist

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Becker muscular dystrophy

Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) is a genetic condition that leads to progressive muscle wasting due to a mutation in the gene that makes a muscle-supporting protein called dystrophin.

BMD typically presents as a less severe form of muscle wasting than the simil…

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Source: https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/hand-weakness/