Butterflies in your stomach can be a great feeling. But pins-and-needles in your wrists? Not so much.

Here’s why your wrists might feel numb, tingly, or just plain painful. We also have some top tips to get your joints and tendons feeling fresh again.

There are tons of reasons why you might have numbness in your wrists, hands, or fingers. Here’s what might be to blame based on your specific symptoms.

Numbness in hand or fingers

A loss of sensation in your hands or fingers might be due to:

  • diabetes
  • golfer’s elbow
  • vitamin B12 deficiency
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tennis elbow (aka lateral epicondylitis)
  • side effects from certain blood pressure meds (like hydralazine and amiodarone)

Numbness in hands or fingers while sleeping

This might be a simple case of sleeping in a funky position that puts pressure on your hands. But it could also be due to:

Numbness in fingers

Fingers feeling funky? There’s a chance you’re just chilly 🥶. But it could also be because of:

  • fibromyalgia
  • a pinched nerve
  • multiple sclerosis
  • vitamin B12 deficiency
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • a side effect of chemotherapy
  • peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes or high blood pressure

Tingling in wrist and forearm (or really anywhere along your arm)

That sudden rush of pins-and-needles is the worst. It’s prob not a big deal, but in more serious cases it can be a symptom of:

  • a herniated disk
  • hemiplegic migraine
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • thoracic outlet syndrome
  • improper circulation caused by conditions like atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, diabetes, or blood blots

A numb wrist can be brought on by beaucoup different conditions. Here’s a deep dive into the most common culprits.

You might have heard about this condition in fourth grade computer class. But it can actually be a serious thing.

Carpal tunnel can happen if your wrist swells and compresses your median nerve. This can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in your fingers, palms, or wrists.

Overuse is a leading cause of carpal tunnel. Other factors can include:

Arthritis isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of vibe. There are over 100 types of this condition. But three stand-outs include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, and osteoarthritis.

Here are the deets on each.

Rheumatoid arthritis

RA happens when your immune system attacks your synovium, which is the membrane that lines your joints. The chronic inflammation can wear down your bone and cartilage. Your joints may become misaligned over time.


Gout happens when too much uric acid crystallizes and deposits in your joints. This can lead to redness or discoloration, swelling, and pain in the affected areas. It’s most common in your feet but can also affect your hands and wrists.


This is the most common form of arthritis in older adults. It happens when your protective cartilage wears down over time. It can cause your bones to rub against each other, which can be hella painful.

Wrist tendonitis (aka tenosynovitis) is a condition that affects one or more of the tendons in your wrist. You might notice an uncomfortable sensation and swelling that starts in your wrist and spreads towards your hands or forearms.

It usually stems from overuse or an injury to a tendon. But it may also be caused by:

A numb wrist usually isn’t a big deal. But in more serious causes, it could be a symptom of an underlying condition.

Call your doc if your wrist doesn’t bounce back in a few days. They can give you some medications or a splint to get things back on track. In the meantime, anti-inflammatory medications and cold compresses can reduce swelling and discomfort.

P.S. Sudden pain in one of your arms could be a symptom of a heart attack. Call 9-1-1 pronto if you have other heart attack symptoms such as a cold sweat, shortness of breath, feeling faint, pressure in your abdomen, or pain in your chest.