Our hands are one of the most important parts of the body which help us perform our daily activities and make us mobile and independent. However, many people complain that they feel extreme weakness in their hands but are unable to understand the reason behind it. The weakness prevents them from performing any kind of activity and also restricts them from leading a normal life. If you too are wondering as to what could be causing the weakness in hands then read further to the reasons as well as home remedies to cure the weakness in hands.
What Could be Causing Weakness in Hands?
There can be several reasons which can cause weakness in your hands. However, the commonest causes can be divided into three major sections which are nerve-related weakness, muscle-related weakness and all other types of causes which cause weakness in hands.
Here are some of the commonest causes of weakness in hands.
Weakness in Hands Caused Due to Nerve-Related Problems
When you feel weakness in your hands where not only hand grip but also the wrist and finger movement is affected, the cause of the weakness is nerve-related.
Here are some examples of weakness in hands which are nerve-related.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This is a condition where the median nerve gets compressed when it passes through a small tunnel from the forearm to the hands and you can feel weakness in hands.
- Radial Neuropathy – Arising from the brachial plexus, the radial nerves control the movement of the fingers, hand and wrist by controlling the muscles involved around the thumb side. If any nerve damage takes place here it is called neuropathy and can commonly cause weakness in hands.
- Ulnar Neuropathy – Another nerve that arises from the brachial plexus is the ulnar nerve which also supplies muscles to the hand and forearm on the side of the little finger. Any nerve disease or damage to this nerve can also result in weakness in hands.
- Brachial Plexus Disorder – In this disorder, the nerves which start from the brachial plexus or neck region and branch off to the upper limb to offer movement and sensation gets traumatized, injured or inflamed thereby causing weakness in hands. This is quite common in cases such as vehicle accidents, nerve diseases and a blunt force trauma.
- Median Nerve Palsy – The median nerve also starts from the brachial plexus. It is a unique nerve which reaches the hand by passing through the carpal tunnel. Disorder, damage or disease of this nerve can cause issues in hand movement, wrist or thumb movement and weakness in hands.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS – ALS are the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain and when these nerves start to degenerate, it results in weakness in hands as it controls the specific muscles.
Weakness in Hands Caused Due to Muscle Related Problems
The movement of the hand and fingers solely rely on the tendons and muscles. When these muscles and tendons get diseased or damaged, it can cause weakness of hands even if the nerves continue to function normally.
Here are some muscle-related causes of weakness in hands.
- Myasthenia Gravis – This is an autoimmune disease which causes several skeletal muscles including those of the arm to become weak and experience fatigue all the time.
- Muscular Dystrophy – In this disease, the muscle fibres get injured and start to weaken gradually and can cause weakness in hands.
- Polymyositis – This is a very rare inflammatory disease which leads to weakness in the hand muscles and affects both sides of the body at the same time.
- Tendonitis – The tendons and muscles which control the hands become inflamed thereby causing pain and weakness in hands.
- Muscle Atrophy – In this disease, the muscles of the hands start to shrink thereby causing weakness.
Other Causes of Weakness in Hands
Sometimes weakness of hands can be a result of injuries, ligament, bone and joint problems. In some cases, skin-related issues and reduced blood supply to the hand muscles might cause weakness in hands. Some other conditions like sudden changes in blood pressure or blood sugar levels to can cause a feeling of weakness in hands, particularly when holding objects. Extreme fatigue, fever or other systemic conditions can sometimes make you feel weak overall along with weakness in hands.
Proper evaluation of the associated symptoms and clinical examination can help to find the exact cause of weakness in hands. In some cases, sudden weakness in hands can be an indication of serious medical problems like stroke or other circulatory problems, which may need immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of Weakness in Hands
Here are some of the most common symptoms experienced along with weakness in hands
- Loss of sensation
- Pain in fingers, hands and wrist
- Weakness in arms and wrist
- Tingling or numbness in arms, hands of fingers
- Inability to move hands or hold objects.
- Awkward grasp and difficulty in fine motor movements
- Involuntary and abnormal hand movements
- Mass or lump formation in the hands and fingers
- Feeling of stiffness and/or tightness in the hand and fingers
- Locking of fingers in a particular position.
Home Remedies for Weakness in Hands
There are several home remedies which help to reduce the weakness of hands, strengthen the nerves and muscles and also help the hands and fingers to function normally once again.
Here are some of the best home remedies for weakness in hands.
- Massage – Massage is one of the best home remedies which helps to reduce weakness in hands and strengthen it. Use warm coconut oil for best results as coconut has strengthening and healing properties in it. Massage the weak hand or hands twice every day for at least 10 to 15 minutes with warm coconut oil.
- Hot and Cold Compress – This is another great remedy which has shown positive result for many people feeling weakness in hands. Use an ice pack to give cold compress on the palm, wrist and fingers and let it stay for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and apply again. Repeat 4 to 5 times. Then soak a fresh towel in hot water, squeeze out the excess water and wrap on the fingers, palm and wrist. This is the hot compress. Remove and apply again and repeat this 4 to 5 times as well. Perform this alternated compress twice everyday till the weakness reduces considerably.
- Physical Therapy and Exercise – Though your hands are feeling weak, it is advisable to practice some basic exercises such as holding up the weak hands and stretching it, touching the top of the fingers with the thumb as these help strengthen the nerves and muscles and help reduce the weakness with regular practice. Practicing strength training exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist can help to regain the muscle strength and improve most nerve conditions as well. It is advisable to seek medical opinion to plan the right type of exercises, depending on the cause of weakness in hands.
- Vitamin B6 – A great home remedy is to supplement Vitamin B6 which is known to reduce weakness and pain in both nerves and muscles which are mostly the cause for weakness in our body parts. Consume foods such as bananas, mangoes, chick peas, potatoes, sunflower seeds, salmon and avocados as these are all rich in Vitamin B6.
- Healthy Diet – Flaxseeds are known to suppress inflammation and also increase the flow of blood in the entire body thereby eliminating weakness of any kind. Pineapple also serves a similar purpose. Increasing water and fluid intake too reduce muscular and nerve problems, thus relieving weakness in hands.
Weakness in your hands can be the result of several types of diseases, most of which are nerve and muscle related. Though home remedies are quite helpful and can reduce the weakness considerably, it is important to consult your doctor and find out the underlying cause for the weakness. Once the underlying cause is treated, the weakness in hands too will start to reduce and gradually disappear.