Why Does My Hand Cramp and Twitch? Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
You've been working at the computer, and you go to move the mouse and your hand starts to twitch and cramp. You wonder if these might be symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Or, at least, that's a thought that pops in your mind. You just wonder why your hand or fingers are twitching involuntarily.
What might be causing this problem? Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or something else?
Let's find out.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There is a nerve that runs down your forearm, down to your wrist and your thumb and index and middle fingers. When your arm, hand and fingers get overworked, the wrist tissues can begin to swell and compress that nerve, causing problems in your hand.
And, yes, this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and it can cause your hand to twitch. And also to cramp.
Other symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Pain in wrist
- Numbness in fingers
- Tingling in fingers
- Itching in hand and fingers
- Weakness and pain in fingers or palm
- Fingers feel swollen but don't appear swollen
- Pain in wrist when first waking up in the morning
- Difficulty feeling heat or cold
- Muscles at the base of thumb deteriorate
Causes of Hand Cramps and Spasms
As already stated, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome could be causing your hand spasms and cramping. However, there are many other possible causes to these symptoms.
Some possible causes of hand cramping and twitching:
- Carpal spasms caused by overused muscles, due to writing or typing. This can often be alleviated with rest.
- Dehydration and depletion of magnesium and potassium (electrolytes). Staying hydrated and taking supplements or eating foods rich in nutrients can alleviate hand cramps in these situations. Also drinking sodas can make you dehydrated and deplete magnesium in your body; so you might want to stay away from the carbonated soft drinks.
- Calcium deficiency.
- Brain and neurological disorders like Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or Huntington's Disease.
- Kidney disease.
- Nerve damage.
- Heavy exercise.
- Hyperventilation caused by such things as anxiety.
- Increased Phosphate in the body.
- Pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester.
- Thyroid disorders.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
- The effects of medications.
- Low blood sugar.
- Benign essential tumor.
- Fasciculation Syndrome. This condition involves twitches in the hands, eyelids, limbs and tongue and the spasms can occur intermittently or continuously but can usually be stopped by purposely moving body part affected. This condition can be treated with medications.
So, as you can see there are many possible causes for hand cramping and twitching/spasms.
You must seek the advice of a physician to find out what is causing these symptoms, especially if they are accompanied by pain or if your hand becomes cold and numb or even blue and pale.
Things to consider if your hand is cramping and twitching:
- Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration
- Overworked muscles
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Underlying neurological problem
So, depending on the actual cause of hand cramping and spasms, the problem can be treated in different ways. If it is due to a vitamin D deficiency, you can take vitamin D supplements. If it is due to dehydration, you can stay away from the sodas and make sure you drink plenty of water. Stretching exercises can also help; it's also good to get good exercise, because it will keep your muscles loose. But it's good to remember not to over-do it, because excessive exercise can actually cause the cramping and spasms in your hand.
You could look at your stress levels too or even consider what medications you're taking.
Of course, if it seems like the symptoms get worse and occur more often and are accompanied by pain and numbness and coldness of the hand, then you definitely will want to consult a doctor. Keep in mind that neurological disorders and even low blood sugar could cause these symptoms, so you want a specialist to examine and diagnose you to find out if the symptoms are caused by a more serious condition. However, it could be as simple as you needing more rest and healthy recreation, in addition to making sure you are eating a nutritious diet and staying away from things like soda that deplete your system of necessary electrolytes like magnesium and potassium.
Nothing beats living a healthy lifestyle and being free from stress.