Loss of Strength and Tingling in Hands

Beauty handcare
The onset of tingling and loss of strength in your hands may indicate an underlying condition. (Image: Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images)

Identifying the pathology for tingling and loss of strength in your hands is the first step to alleviating symptoms. Many conditions contribute to hand discomfort and weakness; both injury and illness may promote hand syndromes. Traumatic injury to the carpal tunnel passageway or the brachial plexus nerves may lead to tingling and decreasing strength in the hands. Conditions that promote hand discomfort and weakness include cervical spondylosis and peripheral neuropathy. Whether caused by a traumatic injury or chronic condition, there are treatments to reduce your symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Located in your wrists, the carpal tunnel passageway encapsulates the median nerve and the tendons in control of hand function. Compression of the passageway causes numbness, loss of strength and pain in the hands. Pregnancy, breast cancer, menopause, traumatic wrist injury and repetitive motion all increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Medical conditions such as lupus, hypothyroidism, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis also contribute to carpal tunnel compression. Treatments include non-invasive options like physical therapy and activity restriction. Severe cases require a surgical release of the passageway.

Cervical Spondylosis

Degenerating disks in the cervical spine cause cervical spondylosis, which generally is found in individuals over the age of 55. When accompanied by spinal cord nerve compression, cervical spondylosis reveals itself as tingling, pain or weakness in your hands. For minor cases, conservative treatment measures may help, and physicians usually prescribe physical therapy as the first course of treatment. When other treatments fail, your physician may recommend surgical intervention. Alternatives to surgery include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and anesthetic cervical spine steroid injections.

Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus nerves transmit neurological signals to your hands. Either tearing or traumatic stretching of this nerve bundle constitutes an injury. Although traumatic injuries make up the bulk of brachial plexus etiology, a rare syndrome called Parsonage-Turner also causes inflammation of the nerve bundle. Injuring the brachial plexus nerves may lead to loss of strength and tingling in your hands. Conservative treatment will work for inflammation or stretching injuries, but a torn brachial plexus nerve requires surgery. Formation of scar tissue on a stretched brachial plexus may require surgery for scar tissue removal. Non-surgical treatment options include physical therapy and medications containing opiates; surgical techniques involve nerve grafting and muscle or nerve transfer.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy may arise out of injury, disease or infection and may include tingling and loss of hand strength. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke cites traumatic injuries as the most common cause. Other ailments like diabetes mellitus, kidney failure, HIV and vitamin deficiency also increase the likelihood of developing peripheral neuropathy. Treating this condition begins with correcting the underlying pathology. Symptoms will improve when the underlying cause is under control. Traumatic injuries may require surgery. Massaging your hands daily and employing strength-training techniques also work to alleviate related tingling and hand weakness

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