Hand nerve weakness usually results from peripheral neuropathy, which is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves, usually causing numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the affected area. This condition indicates a problem with the peripheral nervous system, a network of nerves that exits the brain and spinal cord and extends to the rest of the body. In our topic, we learn about the causes of weak nerves in the hand, and how to treat it.
What are the causes of hand nerve weakness
Nerve weakness or damage can result from a number of conditions. Health conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include
- Autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, demyelinating polyneuropathy and vasculitis.
- Diabetes. More than half of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy.
- Infection, including some viral or bacterial infections, such as Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
- Genetic disorders of bodily functions, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited neuropathy.
- Tumors. Malignant, benign, noncancerous growths can develop from or compress nerves.
- Bone marrow disorders, including abnormal proteins in the blood, a form of bone cancer (myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
- Other diseases, including kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders, and hypothyroidism.
- Alcoholism The poor dietary choices that alcoholics make may lead to vitamin deficiencies.
- Exposure to toxins, including industrial chemicals and heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
- Some medicines, especially chemotherapy.
- Traumas, such as car accidents, falls or sports injuries, may cut or damage peripheral nerves in the hand.
- Nerve pressure. Nerve compression can result from a cast, the use of crutches, or repetitive movements such as continuous writing.
- Lack of vitamins necessary for nerve health, including vitamin B1, B6, B12, vitamin E and niacin.
In a number of cases, no specific cause of hand nerve weakness can be identified.
Hand nerve weakness treatment
Treatment begins with identifying and treating the underlying medical problem, such as diabetes or an infection. Some cases of neuropathy can sometimes be easily treated. However, not all neuropathies can be cured. In these cases, treatment will aim to control and manage symptoms and prevent further nerve damage. Treatment options include
- Medications To control pain, a number of different medications contain chemicals that help control pain by modulating pain signaling pathways within the central and peripheral nervous system. These medications include
- Anti-seizure medications.
- Topical creams or sprays that contain lidocaine. Narcotic medications are not usually used for neuropathic pain because of limited evidence that they are helpful for the condition.
- Physical therapy includes a combination of focused exercises, massages, and other therapies to help you increase your hand strength and range of motion. Physical therapy can help you cope with pain and loss of function, and teach you the skills to make up for that loss.
- Surgery Available for patients with pressure-related neuropathy caused by things like herniated discs in the back or neck, tumors, infections, or nerve entrapment disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Special supports, such as splints, can help reduce pain by providing support or keeping injured nerves in proper alignment.
- Proper nutrition includes eating a healthy diet and making sure you get vitamins and other nutrients.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle This includes exercising to improve muscle strength, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and stopping alcohol consumption.