Q. I have begun to experience numbness in my dominant hand. What might be causing it, and how can I fix it?
A. Hand numbness can be caused by irritation, compression, or damage of a nerve in the arm or nerve root in the cervical spine. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of nerve compression in the arm. Most other causes of hand numbness typically coincide with a specific diagnosis, such as diabetes, stroke, or Raynaud’s disease.
Hand numbness can affect your daily activities by making you more prone to drop things, increasing your risk of injury when using hot or sharp objects, and making you feel as if you’ve lost strength.
Avoid activities that irritate your symptoms, and rest your hand as much as possible. If the numbness doesn’t resolve in a timely manner or begins to occur more frequently, contact your physician. He or she may refer you to occupational therapy, which can help determine an appropriate treatment plan for your nerve condition. Like most health concerns, treating hand numbness early can help you avoid permanent damage that can occur if left untreated.