Hand Numbness
Hand numbness is an abnormal sensation caused by an alteration in sensory nerve function. Numb hands, numbness in hands, hand paresthesias.

Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings


Finger numbness is an abnormal sensation that’s caused by a change in sensory nerve function.

Alternative Names

Numb fingers, numbness in fingers, numbness of fingers, tingling fingers.


Sensations are carried to the brain through neurons in the spinal cord. If the blood supply to the nerves is limited or the nerve is otherwise damaged it can produce the feeling that your finger “fell asleep”. Permanent or severe blood loss (ischemia) can result in permanent nerve damage. Nerves in the fingers can be damaged when the blood supply is decreased over time, like in diabetes.

Associated Diagnoses

  • trauma
  • peripheral nerve compression
  • frostbite
  • beriberi
  • diabetic nerve damage
  • multiple sclerosis
  • snake bites
  • neuralgias
  • rabies
  • radiculopathy
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • pernicious anemia
  • toxin exposure or poisoning
  • stroke
  • necrotizing vasculitis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • malnutrition

Diagnosis and Treatments

See your doctor if finger numbness doesn’t go away and is accompanied by other symptoms like weakness and pain. A complete medical history and physical may be required for a diagnosis.  Possible required tests include:

  • nerve conduction velocity tests
  • electromyography
  • imaging studies
  • nerve biopsy

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and aim to relieve symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy and stretching exercises may help ease symptoms once the underlying cause is found and treated.

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by: George Krucik, MD, MBA
Published: Dec 17, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools