Causes and Treatments for Hand Weakness

If you’re experiencing hand weakness or are having “heaviness” in either hand, there could be many different causes for this. Hand weakness that is sudden and unexpected is a concern because it could be an indication of a stroke or a medical emergency.

However, if you’ve suffered from nagging hand weakness that isn’t related to a major medical condition and is not usually life-threatening. Hand weakness that lasts for months or even weeks is usually caused by a medical issue. If it is not treated the weakness may get worse, as can the underlying causes.

This article focuses on the possible causes for the sudden or ongoing weakness of your hand as well as the way each can be identified and managed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome is among the top prevalent causes of hand pain and weakness. 2 Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused due to excessive use of the arm, hand, or wrist, usually because of repetitive motions like operating machines or typing.

The swelling presses down on a nerve, known as the median nerve that runs through a “tunnel” of ligaments and bones within the wrist. The result is pain, tingling, or numbness as well as loss of coordination in the hand. The weakness and pain could be felt throughout the arm if pressure on the nerve continues to be.

Diagnostics and Treatment

A physician or physical therapist is able to determine the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome by looking at your symptoms and inspecting your arm and hand. Sometimes, a nerve conduction test (which examines the electrical activity of nerves) might be necessary for confirmation of that diagnosis. Ice, rest, and prescription anti-inflammatory medicines typically assist in treatment. A wrist brace or adjustment of wrist movement while working can stop carpal tunnel syndrome from becoming worse.

For the most severe of cases, an easy procedure known as carpal tunnel release cuts a wrist ligament to alleviate pressure for a long time.


It affects hands, osteoarthritis may cause discomfort, stiffness, pain as well as difficulty gripping and deformity in the finger joints.

As the destruction of joint cartilage proceeds, the weakness and pain will get worse until it becomes debilitating.

Diagnostics and Treatment

The healthcare professional you see will be able to determine the severity of arthritis according to your symptoms, physical examination or X-rays, as well as blood tests. Arthritis is a chronic condition that can be treated using anti-inflammatory medication, ice/cold applications, and physical therapy. The condition can cause severe pain but is not life-threatening.

Ulnar Neuropathy

Ulnar neuropathy is caused due to the irritation of a nerve known as the Ulnar nerve. The nerve that controls hand and arm movement is typically squeezed by the elbow. Mild compression of the Ulnar nerve occurs due to leaning over the arm and causing the sensation of tingling, frequently described as “bumping the funny bone.”

Ulnar nerve damage caused by trauma or arthritis, compression, or infection can result in tenderness, tingling, or arm weakness as well as loss of feeling (particularly on the ring finger).

Diagnostics and Treatment

The treatment and diagnosis of ulnar neuropathy are similar to other types of neuropathy. If there is an infection (typically bacteria) antibiotics can be prescribed. Injuries that are traumatized may need an elbow brace till symptoms ease. Some cases require no treatment.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Although diabetes is the main reason for neuropathy, there are many causes that can cause the hand to weaken. Neuropathy that affects nerves other than the spinal cord and brain is known as peripheral neuropathy.

Diagnostics and Treatment

Your physician may be required for blood tests in order to determine whether the reason for neuropathy is caused by an autoimmune disease, infection or metabolic disorder, nutritional deficiencies, or drug adverse effects.

Whatever the reason, peripheral neuropathy can cause similar symptoms (pain or numbness, tingling burning, weakness, or pain).

The majority of neuropathies improve after the cause of the problem is addressed.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition due to a lack of insulin which gradually increases the blood sugar level. One of the very common side effects of sugar is nerve damage which is also known as diabetic neuropathy. Patients who have high sugar, often also have diabetic neuropathy

If it affects the fingers, the diabetic neuropathy may cause pain, weakness, tingling, and difficulty in coordinating hand movements

Diagnostics and Treatment

Many people suffering from diabetic neuropathy know they suffer from diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is the initial symptom of diabetic neuropathy.

The healthcare professional can usually determine if you have diabetes based on signs, medical history, and physical examination. Tests for blood can reveal if you are suffering from diabetes.

The next step is managing diabetes, which can alleviate symptoms, particularly in cases where they haven’t been present for a long time.

However, hand exercise with grip strength exercises is a great option to strengthen your hands as well.

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