Numbness in the hands and arms is usually caused by some type of peripheral neuropathy, which is a problem with the peripheral nerves that affects the way sensory information is carried from the central nervous system. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by damage to the nerve or excess pressure exerted on the nerve. Numbness in the hands and arms can also indicate serious blood circulation problems that require immediate medical attention.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Cervical spondylosis is characterized by the degeneration of the spinal vertebrae as well as the formation of abnormal growths of bone called bone spurs 1. Cervical spondylosis is a normal result of increasing age, but younger adults may be affected by cervical spondylosis because of other health problems 1. As the vertebrae in the spinal column degenerate, they begin to compress the nerves.
Treatment for cervical spondylosis is aimed at pain relief and avoiding permanent spinal or nerve damage 1. Treatment options include pain relievers, physical therapy and the use of a neck brace. If the condition worsens or the pain is severe, surgery may be needed to repair the vertebrae.
- Cervical spondylosis is characterized by the degeneration of the spinal vertebrae as well as the formation of abnormal growths of bone called bone spurs 1.
- If the condition worsens or the pain is severe, surgery may be needed to repair the vertebrae.
Causes of Numbness in the Extremities
Spinal stenosis usually develops as a result of increasing age but can occur because of other conditions, such as:
- a herniated disk
- spinal cord injury
- congenital defects
- bone diseases 2
Most cases of spinal stenosis are treated with a combination of physical therapy, pain medications and lifestyle changes 2. Moderate to severe cases may benefit from injections of anti-inflammatory medications. Medline Plus notes that surgery may be needed if other treatment options are ineffective.
A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, covering the area of the brain with blood. In both instances, the brain cells cannot properly receive oxygen, which results in brain cell death. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, especially the arms, hands and face; confusion; difficulty speaking and understanding others; vision problems; difficulty walking; dizziness; and severe headache.
If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Those who survive a stroke usually have permanent damage to the brain that produces long-lasting symptoms such as paralysis on one side of the body or long-term numbness. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes that approximately 25 percent of stroke survivors who recover will experience another within five years 3.
- A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, covering the area of the brain with blood.
- Those who survive a stroke usually have permanent damage to the brain that produces long-lasting symptoms such as paralysis on one side of the body or long-term numbness.
Causes of Numbness in the Extremities
The Medical Conditions That Cause Weakness on the Left Side of the Body
Diseases Causing Numbness to the Legs
Complications After Craniotomy Surgery
Causes of Temporary Leg Paralysis
Complications of Lumbar Fusion Surgery
Neurological Disorders That Have Symptoms of Electrical Shock Feelings
Diseases Associated With Tingling Sensations
Signs and Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve in the Neck and Shoulder Areas
Causes of Neck & Cervical Spine Pain
- MayoClinic.com: Cervical Spondylosis
- MedlinePlus: Spinal Stenosis
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Stroke
- Blozik, E. Depression and anxiety as major determinants of neck pain: a cross-sectional study in general practice. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009 Jan;10:13. doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-13
- Lin SY, Sung FC, Lin CL, Chou LW, Hsu CY, Kao CH. Association of depression and cervical spondylosis: a nationwide retrospective propensity score-matched cohort study. J Clin Med. 2018;7(11). doi:10.3390/jcm7110387
- McCartney S, Baskerville R, Blagg S, McCartney D. Cervical radiculopathy and cervical myelopathy: diagnosis and management in primary care. Br J Gen Pract. 2018 Jan; 68(666): 44–46. doi:10.3399/bjgp17X694361
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Cervical spondylosis (arthritis of the neck). Orthinfo.com. November 2019.
Lindsay Boyers has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.