Hand & Wrist Nerve Damage

Hand & wrist nerve damage at a glance

  • A nerve injury can occur when the finger, hand, or wrist is cut, overstretched, crushed or burned.
  • Motor vehicle accidents, work injuries, and falls are common causes of nerve injury.
  • Symptoms include numbness and difficulty moving the affected area.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the injury, and may include rest, immobilization, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Causes of hand & wrist nerve damage

Injury to nerves in the hand or wrist is often caused by trauma, such as the area being cut, overstretched, crushed or burned, damaging the nerve or nerve ending.

Symptoms of hand & nerve damage

The nerves located in the hand and wrist affect motor and sensory functions. If a nerve in the hand or wrist is cut, severed, stretched, or otherwise damaged, it will not function properly (or at all).

Damage to motor nerves can cause weakness, twitching, and paralysis in the hand, wrist and arm. Sensory nerve damage symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, increased sensitivity, burning, and problems positioning the hand correctly.

Similarly, when a nerve in the hand or wrist is pinched or compressed (such as in carpal tunnel syndrome), there can be pain and loss of feeling through the hand and fingers.

Treatment of hand & nerve damage

In the majority of nerve damage cases, the problem cannot be fixed but a variety of treatments and medications can help alleviate symptoms. Be sure to talk to your pharmacist before purchasing anti-inflammatories as these medications may be contraindicated as they may interact with other medications and medical conditions.

Resting, immobilizing or exercising the hand and wrist can help relieve pain.

If the nerve is pinched or compressed, surgery may be able to release the nerve and restore functionality, depending on the severity of damage and how long the nerve was compressed.