Non-Surgical Hand Numbness Treatment
To decide how to treat numbness in hands or pain in your hands or fingers, it’s important to understand what causes this pain. Compression of the median nerve in the wrist can occur as the tendons enlarge from overuse or as the space gets smaller as happens during arthritais. This compression of the nerve commonly occurs where the nerve passes through anatomical tight passages such as the carpal tunnel and can occur at any age in adulthood.
Often times, the only symptom is numbness in hand described often as tingling, pins and needles, “picky,” or pain in the thumb, index finger, long finger, ring finger, any combination of these or the entire hand. Typically, the dominant side is affected first and more frequently. For example, people who are right-handed typically notice numbness in hand in the right hand. Over time, this numbness in hand may spread to both hands and include:
- An aching or burning pain
- Pain that shoots from your hand or wrist up your arm as far as your shoulder
- Swelling or a swelling feeling in your fingers
- Stiffness in your hands
Many times this numbness in hand resolves with shaking of the hand, opening and closing the fingers, putting the hand down, rinsing warm or cold water over it, or massaging or rubbing the hand.
Surgery is one option, but it has complications, and you may benefit from nonsurgical treatment. After surgery, nonsurgical treatment is not as effective.
The vast majority of my patients feel better with the use of splints, therapy or Cortisone.
- Splints: When properly applied, splints can relieve pain and numbness in hand. Low cost, splints are available at your local drugstore. I can provide professional guidance on how to wear them and during which activities.
- Therapy: Some patients benefit from therapy. I can refer you to a therapist who will use a combination of special exercises and muscle massages to relieve your numbness in hand feel.
- Cortisone: This widely used treatment relieves pain in the hands for up to three months and sometimes longer. Unlike surgery, the side effects are minimal and limited largely to skin irritation. I also use ultrasound to visualize the best approach.
All of my services to treat numbness in hand are covered by health insurance and a physician referral is typically not necessary.