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Some of the most common causes for tingling in the arms and/or hands are pressure on the nerves, difficulties in blood circulation, inflammation or alcohol abuse. However, this type of tingling can also be a sign of more serious illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis or a heart attack.
Hands and arms are parts of the body that contain a large number of nerve endings, allowing for more delicate movements and feeling objects and temperature changes, for example. That way, any small change can affect these nerves and cause tingling.
To help identify the possible cause of the tingling sensation you are experiencing, please answer these questions:
- I can't.
There are several situations that can cause chest pain accompanied by tingling in the left arm and hand.
See the article below for the main causes and what to do:
Chest pain: 9 main causes and when it could be a heart attack
A stroke can cause tingling on one side of the body, and is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as a severe headache, loss of strength or movement on one side of the body, slurred speech, mental confusion or fainting.
If you suspect a stroke, it is important to call for medical help or go to the hospital immediately.
Stroke First Aid
12 symptoms that may indicate a stroke (and what to do)
The synovial cyst is a small soft lump that appears close to a joint, being quite common in the wrist.
Although it does not cause pain, it can cause tingling, loss of strength or sensation in the affected region.
Synovial cyst: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment
Lateral epicondylitis is an inflammation that arises in the tendons of the elbow and usually causes the appearance of pain/tingling in the lateral region of the elbow, which can radiate to the arm and wrist.
Other symptoms may include stiffness when stretching the arm, swelling and tenderness in the elbow, and decreased strength in the arm or wrist, for example.
Lateral epicondylitis: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a relatively common condition that can cause tingling in the arm and/or hand. It can also cause numbness in the fingers, wrist pain (especially at night) and difficulty distinguishing between heat and cold.
This syndrome is more common in people who perform daily repetitive movements with their hands, such as carpenters or professional tennis players, for example, but it can also arise due to fractures in the region or chronic diseases, such as diabetes and autoimmune problems.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment
Deficiency of some vitamins, especially vitamins E, B1, B6, or B12, can cause tingling in the arms and hands.
This type of deficiency is more common when you have an inadequate diet or when you have a gastrointestinal problem that can hinder its absorption.
Avitaminosis (lack of vitamins): what it is, symptoms and treatment
People who are not properly treated for diabetes may experience progressive degeneration of the nerves in the extremities, resulting in tingling in the hands, arms, legs, and/or feet.
This condition is called peripheral neuropathy and, in addition to tingling, can also cause pain, cramps, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and joint deformity.
Diabetes tests: 4 tests that confirm the diagnosis
Diabetic neuropathy: what it is, symptoms and treatment
In cases of severe hypothyroidism, intense fluid retention can occur, causing tissue inflammation. This inflammation can put pressure on peripheral nerves and cause tingling and numbness in the wrists, arms, and legs.
Hypothyroidism: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment
Poor circulation happens when blood has difficulty reaching the extremities of the body. When this happens, it is common to feel tingling in the places most affected by the lack of blood, usually in the hands or feet.
In addition to tingling, other signs and symptoms may also appear, such as cold skin, swelling, pain, small blood vessels or varicose veins and dry skin, for example.
9 natural treatments for poor circulation
Migraine with aura is a severe, constant headache that appears about 1 hour after a series of sensory disturbances, known as aura, that cause visual changes such as small points of light, flashes, or blurred vision.
In addition to the headache, many people may also experience tingling in their hands, arms and/or face.
Migraine with aura: is it dangerous? what it is, symptoms and treatment
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve cells, which is a protective structure of nerves.
When this happens, the nerves are more exposed and tingling is common, in addition to other symptoms such as muscle weakness, tremors, tiredness and loss of movement control.
Multiple sclerosis: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment
There are several conditions that can cause pressure on the nerves in the hands and arms, such as herniated discs, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or obesity. In these cases, it is common to feel tingling in the hands and/or arms, as well as numbness, weakness and/or pain.
Herniated disc: what it is, types, symptoms and treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis: what it is, symptoms and treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment
Sprains, dislocations or fractures are conditions that can arise after an accident or due to the practice of some physical activity.
Although it is more common to cause severe pain and swelling in the area, some people may also experience tingling in the area.
Fractures: main types and most common symptoms
Dislocation: what it is, symptoms and treatment
- Small soft lump on hand and/or wrist.
- Intense pain in the elbow.
- Stinging sensation in the hand and pain in the wrist.
- Fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss
- Increased appetite, increased desire to drink water, increased urinary frequency and/or weight loss.
- None of the above.
- Weight gain for no apparent reason, difficulty concentrating, swelling around the eyelids, tiredness and/or loss of hair and nails.
- Tingling, itching, numbness, cramping, feeling hot or cold, and/or swelling.
- Arm and/or hand pain, numbness and weakness.
- Tingling appeared after excessive exertion with the hand or arm.
- None of the above.
- Before the headache, I had vision changes (small points of light, flashes of light, or blurred vision).
- I make involuntary movements with my eyes horizontally or vertically.
- I have asymmetry in my face when smiling, difficulty lifting my arms and/or speaking.
- None of the above.
Unfortunately, we were unable to identify the possible cause of your tingling.
For this reason, we recommend that you consult a general practitioner, so that they can evaluate your medical and family history, as well as the symptoms presented. The doctor may recommend diagnostic tests to identify the cause and indicate the most appropriate treatment.
Attention: this tool is not a substitute for consultation with the doctor. Any type of chest pain that is very severe, worsens within minutes, or is accompanied by other symptoms should be evaluated by a physician.
In any case, if the tingling is intense, takes many days to disappear, or if it appears associated with other symptoms such as excessive tiredness, chest pain or difficulty speaking, it is important to consult a doctor to initiate appropriate treatment.
Top tingling causes
The most common causes of tingling in the hands and/or arms are:
1. Changes in circulation
Tingling in the hands and feet can be caused by circulatory diseases of the arteries and veins, which also generate other symptoms such as pain and ulcer formation. In addition, feeling your hands and fingers tingling when you wake up can also indicate poor circulation.
What to do: Treatment depends on the type of deficiency in blood circulation and whether veins or arteries have been compromised, and may include the use of elastic stockings, use of medication, such as AAS, or even surgery, for example. To confirm and decide the best treatment, the indicated professional is the vascular surgeon.
2. Nerve pressure
The nerves that innervate the arms leave the spinal cord, pass through the spine, and reach the most peripheral parts of the hands and fingers.Along the way, these nerves can be pressed, either by tumors, infections or dilated blood vessels, such as by spinal radiculopathy, which is when the nerves are compromised while still in the spine, by a herniated disc, osteoarthrosis of the spine or stenosis. of the spinal canal, for example. Learn more about what radiculopathy is and its causes.
What to do: it is necessary to seek care from an orthopedist or neurologist, so that treatment is carried out according to the cause of the nerve compression, either with physical therapy or surgery, for example.
3. Migraine with aura
In many people, migraine can be preceded by sensory symptoms, called aura, which include tingling in the hands, arms, legs or mouth, for example, in addition to visual changes, speech difficulties or even weakness in members.
What to do: The treatment of migraine is guided by the neurologist, and includes the use of analgesic, anti-inflammatory or anti-migraine medication to relieve pain, in addition to preventive treatment and measures to avoid crises may be necessary, such as avoiding certain foods, smells or lack of sleep, for example.Find out which remedies are indicated to treat migraine.
Although it is a rarer condition, one of the first symptoms of a stroke is a tingling sensation in an arm or hand. In addition, other common symptoms of this problem include a crooked mouth, lack of strength on one side of the body, and difficulty speaking.
What to do: If you suspect a stroke, call an ambulance immediately, calling 192, or go immediately to the emergency room. See more what to do and how to identify AVC.
5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This syndrome is the main cause of tingling in the hands and happens when the median nerve, which innervates the palm of the hand, gets compressed in the wrist region, causing tingling or numbness that gets worse at night, difficulty holding small objects and feeling of having swollen fingers. This condition is very common during pregnancy, being the most common cause of tingling hands in pregnancy.
What to do: Depending on the severity of the median nerve compression there are exercises that can be done to improve symptoms, however, the only way to guarantee healing is to do nerve decompression surgery. Check out physiotherapy guidelines in the following video:
6. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes the gradual breakdown of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Thus, some symptoms include loss of strength, excessive tiredness, memory failure and tingling in various parts of the body, which can also be accompanied by a burning sensation.
What to do: The treatment needs to be done with the use of drugs that delay the development of the disease, such as Interferon or Mitoxantrone. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a general practitioner or neurologist to diagnose the disease and initiate appropriate treatment. Learn more about what multiple sclerosis is and how to treat it.
7. Synovial cyst
The synovial cyst can appear in any of the joints of the hand, such as the wrist or fingers, and usually causes the appearance of a small lump on the skin, filled with joint fluid, which can end up compressing the nerves and causing tingling in the skin. hand, as well as loss of strength.
What to do: Applying cold compresses to the lump can help reduce swelling and relieve symptoms, however, there may be cases where suctioning of the lump may be necessary. liquid or use anti-inflammatories, and an orthopedist should be consulted if there is no improvement after 1 week. See how to use ice packs.
8. Vitamin Deficiency
Deficiency of certain vitamins, especially vitamins B12, B6, B1 or E, can cause changes in the nerves that cause tingling in different parts of the body and changes in sensitivity, in addition to several others such as irritability, tiredness and psychiatric disorders, for example.
What to do: these deficiencies can be combated through a special diet rich in these vitamins or through the replacement of vitamin supplements, orally or intramuscularly, as can be done be necessary in the case of vitamin B12.
Tingling or numbness in the left arm, or more rarely, in the right arm, can be a symptom of a heart attack, especially when it worsens with exertion or is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, be or cold sweat.
What to do: in case of suspected heart attack, it is necessary to go immediately to the emergency room or call the mobile emergency service, at number 192, so that, if confirmed, treatment should be started as soon as possible, in order to prevent irreversible heart damage. Know how to identify the symptoms of a heart attack in women, men or the elderly.
10. Uncontrolled diabetes
Sometimes diabetes can be a difficult disease to diagnose, especially if it does not cause classic symptoms such as a very frequent urge to urinate or excessive thirst. In cases where treatment is not started, or not followed as prescribed by the doctor, blood sugar levels become elevated in the bloodstream.
When sugar levels are very high, for a long time, one of the consequences is the appearance of small lesions in the nerves of various parts of the body and, therefore, diabetes can be a cause of tingling in the hands, arms, legs or feet, for example.
What to do: when diabetes is suspected, it is very important to go to the endocrinologist to start insulin treatment, since only changes in diet may not be able to treat tingling. Understand how diabetes treatment is done.
When hypothyroidism is not treated properly, it can damage the nerves that carry information between the brain and the rest of the body. So, in addition to symptoms such as hair loss, weight gain, or feeling constantly cold, hypothyroidism can also cause tingling in various parts of the body, including the hands and arms.
What to do: when you already know that you have a thyroid problem, or when there is a suspicion, you should go to the endocrinologist to start the appropriate treatment with drugs that control the thyroid. Here are some tips to regulate your thyroid with food:
12. Lateral epicondylitis
Epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is an inflammation of the muscles and tendons of the elbow that arises due to repetitive use of the joint, as in tennis players or people who work on assembly lines, for example..
In these cases, there may be intense pain in the elbow and loss of strength in the entire arm, and tingling usually arises from compression of the ulnar nerve, located in the arm, due to inflammation.
What to do: Applying cold compresses to the elbow can relieve symptoms, however, physical therapy sessions or anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen may be necessary. in the most serious cases. Thus, it is always important to consult an orthopedist. Learn more about treating epicondylitis.