Numbness in your right hand means that you have lost the feeling or sensation in your fingers or hand. This can be caused by compression or other irritation of a nerve that travels to the fingers, hand or arm. You might notice a burning, tingling, weakness or sharp pain if this is the case. In more severe cases, this can be a sign that you are suffering from a stroke, multiple sclerosis or a palsy that is causing numbness on one side of the body. If you begin to develop numbness in your right hand, you should seek medical attention to ensure that you do not have a more serious issue developing that could be life-threatening.
Causes of Right Hand Numbness
- Stroke - Strokes can cause numbness on the right side of the body. This is caused when the blood flow to your brain is impaired or blocked, causing the brain to become starved for nourishment and oxygen. When this happens, brain cells begin to die. The numbness in the body caused by a stroke will happen on one side of the body or the other according to which part of the brain is affected. Strokes may also cause trouble walking, balancing or speaking, trouble seeing, headaches and confusion.
- Multiple Sclerosis - This is an inflammatory condition that causes damage to the spinal cord and brain. A common symptom of this condition is weakness or numbness on one side of the body or in a particular portion of the body. You might also notice a tingling sensation, tremors or vision problems. Some also find that they experience extreme fatigue as multiple sclerosis takes hold.
- Palsy - A palsy causes numbness, weakness or paralysis on one part of the body. Examples include Bell's palsy that causes damage to the right side of the face that causes this area to droop and fail to function properly. Some palsies can affect the arms or hands as well.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - This is a condition that develops when you compress the nerves in your carpal tunnel. Those that frequently perform repetitive motions such as typing or playing sports that compress the wrists can develop this condition. Other symptoms include tingling, burning or right hand numbness.
- Electrolyte Imbalance - If you have a deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in your body, it can cause the hands and feet to become numb. Deficiencies of vitamins A, B5, B6, B12, and D as well as items like calcium or potassium can cause your hands to go numb or tingle.
- Herniated Disc - When a dish between two of your vertebrae is pressed or ruptures, it can cause pain or numbness in your limbs. This is commonly referred to as a ruptured or slipped disk. If you only notice the problem in the right hand, this is a sign that the nerves on one side of the disk have been more affected than the other.
- Injury - Injuring your arm or hand can cause you to lose sensation in the hand. Trauma, an accidental blow or fall can cause this type of reaction. Fracturing a bone in the hand can also cause you to lose sensation in this area. Look for swelling, pain and other symptoms that might indicate how you were injured.
- Other Conditions - Several additional conditions including peripheral artery disease, Raynaud's syndrome or Rheumatoid arthritis can cause your hands to become numb. Check your other symptoms to help you determine what might be causing the symptoms you are experiencing. Lupus, diabetes or other circulation issues can also cause your right hand to begin feeling numb.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Right Hand Numbness
Your doctor will narrow down what is causing your right hand to feel numb by performing a number of tests. They will usually perform a physical examination and follow up with an X-ray to check for injury or damage to the hand. If this is the case, pain medication can be used to help ease your discomfort. If the damage is severe, you may need surgery to restore sensation to your hand.
- If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be given physical therapy along with anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your discomfort. You may need to adjust your lifestyle to help avoid activities that are aggravating your condition.
- An electrolyte imbalance can be treated with supplements designed to restore the minerals your body needs. If you are dehydrated, you may need to drink fluids until you can restore your body to normal and regain sensation in the hands.
- A herniated disk is usually treated with a combination of medications and physical therapies. Multiple sclerosis will require medication to treat effectively.
If you cannot determine what is causing the right hand numbness or you find this numbness is spreading to other areas of the body, it is important to consult a doctor right away to help determine what is wrong.
When to See a Doctor
If the numbness gets worse, comes and goes, affects both sides of your body, only affects a specific limb such as one finger, or appears to be worsened by specific motions or activities, talk to your doctor so you can get relief and avoid doing further damage to your body.
If the numbness is affecting the whole arm and also includes confusion, trouble talking, severe headache, dizziness, paralysis or appears to come on suddenly, contact emergency medical services immediately.