Neuropathies

 

cervical_radiculopathy

Pain and numbness in the wrist and hands can also be caused by compression of nerves and/or blood vessels near the base of the neck, or even in the elbow and wrist itself.

Cervical radiculopathy involves compression of one or more nerve roots in the neck that lead to the arm.  The compression is usually caused by a bulging disc in the neck but can also be caused by a bone spur or thickened ligament that narrows the hole where the nerve root exits (stenosis).

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where the cervical plexus (nerve root junction further down the neck) is compressed by neck muscles or the collar bone.

Peripheral neuropathy is any condition where a peripheral nerve gets compressed by something in the body, usually a muscle or tendon.  Long nerves such as the nerves of the arm (median, ulnar and radial nerves) often snake through small passages; when those passages constrict it can cause pain, numbness and weakness to a muscle controlled by that nerve.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common and well-known peripheral neuropathy involving compression of the median nerve at the wrist; usually by thickened tendons and/or the ligament that forms the front periphery of the wrist (transverse carpal ligament).

NEXT:  Self-Treating Wrist and Hand Pain

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