Tingling in Hands: What Could Be Causing it?

Older man squeezing his own hand.
  • If you are experiencing tingling in your hands, you could have an underlying health condition.

  • Some main causes of a tingling sensation in the hands include carpal tunnel, vitamin deficiencies, and diabetic neuropathy.

  • It’s important to seek medical attention from a health care provider if you have prolonged tingling in your hands, as it could indicate a more serious problem.

What Causes Tingling in Hands?

Tingling in the hands can feel similar to a numbing sensation or even a light prickling.

If you are experiencing a tingling sensation in your hands, one of the following conditions may be the cause:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)

  • Diabetic neuropathy

  • Autoimmune diseases

  • High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension

  • Nerve compression, often called a pinched nerve

  • Vitamin deficiencies

  • Poor circulation of blood flow

Can a pinched nerve cause tingling hands?

A pinched nerve can occur when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by the surrounding bones or muscles.

Symptoms of nerve compression

When a nerve becomes pinched in the neck or wrist, it can result in tingling sensations in the hands, as well as these other symptoms:

  • A dull, sharp, or burning pain in the area where the nerve is affected

  • Weakness in the affected area

  • Spasms or cramping of the muscles

  • Pain that spreads into other parts of the body

  • Hand numbness

  • In severe cases, a pinched nerve can cause nerve damage that results in loss of movement or sensation

Causes of pinched nerves include repetitive strain injury, a herniated disc, arthritis, or spinal injury.

Vitamin deficiencies causing tingling in the hands

A vitamin deficiency occurs when your body cannot properly absorb vitamins from the food you eat or if you don’t consume enough of a particular nutrient to meet your body’s needs.

For example, if your body doesn’t get enough vitamin B12 and B6, it can lead to nerve damage or dysfunction, creating a tingling or numb sensation, or even weakness in the hands.

To determine if you have a deficiency, a health care provider will conduct blood tests for each vitamin. There are also at-home tests you can take.

Open vitamin capsule with fruits and vegetables falling out.

How diabetic neuropathy is linked to tingling in hands

People diagnosed with diabetes may experience diabetic neuropathy, which is when high blood sugar damages the nerves and blood vessels in the body.

The most common type of neuropathy in diabetes patients is peripheral neuropathy, which is when the nerves in the arms, legs, hands, and feet are affected.

The common symptoms and treatment for peripheral neuropathy

Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes can include numbness, a tingling sensation, burning, and pain in the affected area.

Treatment for peripheral neuropathy can include:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers

  • Patches or topical creams that relieve pain in specific areas

  • Antidepressants that relieve nerve pain

  • Physical therapy

  • Surgery to relieve pressure on nerves

If left untreated, this condition can result in permanent numbness and other complications.

Could carpal tunnel cause tingling in hands?

Another potential cause of tingling hands is something called carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed as it travels through the tunnel in the wrist — called the carpal tunnel.

Woman squeezing her wrist in pain.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel

The compression of the median nerve can cause tingling hands and fingers as well as other symptoms, including:

  • Pain in the wrist, hand, forearm, or arm

  • Weakness in the hands

  • A feeling of swollen or stiff fingers

  • Difficulty with gripping and other fine motor skills

Could an autoimmune disease be causing tingling in the hands?

Autoimmune disorders can cause hand tingling.

These diseases can develop when the body’s immune system attacks the nerves in the peripheral nervous system — consisting of nerves that extend from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.

Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause nerve damage, and hand tingling is a common symptom of this.

When to See a Healthcare Provider About Tingling in the Hands

If you’re concerned about hand tingling, it’s important to see a medical professional who can conduct a physical examination and accurately diagnose the underlying cause.

You should seek medical help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with tingling in the hands and feet:

  • Numbness or weakness in your arms, hands, and legs

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest or shoulders

  • Headaches that don’t respond to pain medication

  • Blurred vision or double vision

  • Slurred speech or difficulty speaking

  • Loss of balance or coordination

  • Fever and chills for several days

  • If you have diabetes or medical history that includes the conditions listed above

If you start to experience sudden tingling in your hands, seek medical attention, as you may have an underlying condition that needs attention.

Where Can You Learn More About Hand Tingling and Similar Issues?

If you are experiencing tingling in your hands, you can speak to a nurse practitioner or board-certified physician from the comfort of your home.

Head over to LifeMD to schedule a telehealth appointment today.


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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency.

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