(This answer provided for NATA by the Southern Utah University Athletic Training Education Program.)
A Answers (3)
The most common cause cause for numbness and tingling in the hand is carpal tunnel syndrome which is compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. This can be painful at the wrist and will typically will cause numbness in the thumb, index and middle finger. Other causes of pain and numbness in the hand can include ulnar nerve compression at the heel of the palm (Guyon's canal). This occurs frequently in cyclists or anyone with prolonged sustained grip. The pain is in the palm and numbness is in the ring finger and pinky.
There is also a condition called Raynaud's phenomenon where one gets painful, cold, discolored and numb fingers in the cold which is more of a vasospastic process.
In addition, in peripheral arterial disease (narrowing of the artery in the arm) one may have a painful hand or arm when using the arm and thus increasing metabolic demand. This is frequently accompanied by paresthesias (pins and needles sensations ).