Numb Hands

I am regularly waking up with one or both hands or parts of hands numb and I assume it is because I have been lying on them (though perhaps not when both hands numb). Whenever this happened in the past say to my arm, I would always get annoying ‘pins and needles’ as a follow on from the numbness. With this hand business though I quickly go from being numb to not being numb without any tingling/pins and needles. Any idea why you dont get the tingling?


I used to have very bad pin and needles in both hands, plus my left thumb was completely numb.

My MS nurse put me on (amitriptyline), this took several weeks to take effect, but my pins and needles went, and slowly I regained most of the feeling into my thumb.

That was several years ago, I still take it, and stayed clear of the pins and needles.

I have PPMS.

Chris R.

I. El. (Eng). (Rtd).

I know its going to be a bad day when I get out of bed and miss the floor, today is such a day.

Hello :slight_smile: I know how you feel, My hands go numb a lot, so do my arms, worse when I have a relapse. The tips of my fingers are constantly numb now, and my right arm now feels like I am wearing a plastercast. Being a chef, I need my hands and arms. Why oh why does this blooming condition affect the parts of your body you need the most? Stupid MS!!! X

I used to get this most mornings on waking before I was first alarmed enough to see a GP about other symptoms and just thought I had laid on them in an odd position. It happens a lot now and I have to be quite careful when going to sleep about the position I lay in.

It’s no surprise to find that each of my relapses has affected my hands to a certain degree. My right hand is not too bad now (handy as I am right handed) and I only get the numbness or pins and needles when I am too hot. My left hand and arm has been left with numbness and pins and needles constantly since my last relapse 2 years ago. Mostly it is just the thumb and first finger but if I am tired, hot or under the weather in any way (like the stinking cold I have at the moment) it is the whole hand and half of the arm too. At best it feels like I have a very thick glove on all the time as I cannot feel things properly. I take amitriptyline which controls the itching and burning I was getting. I have been told I could keep increasing it in the hope it would help with the pins and needles but after a while the numbness/tingling becomes normal and I find I can manage quite well without taking any extra medication. It has affected my dexterity but I have invested in a few gadgets to help with this.

If yours persists and becomes annoying or troublesome you may need to see your GP or MS nurse. It could also be the start of a relapse so it would be a good idea to have it recorded on your notes if it is a new symptom just so they have your full history at your next check-up.

Take care


I get this a lot at night, too. Usually on the side I have been lying or resting on. Sometimes it even wakes me up, which I’ve never understood, because how can feeling NOTHING wake you up? I do get pins and needles with mine - both as a precursor to the numbness, and sometimes lingering a little after I’ve woken up. I rarely get any of it once I’m fully awake and active, though. It’s only when I’m asleep or stuck in one position a long time. Starting to get it a bit now, as I’m propped up on one elbow, on the bed. The hand doing the propping up is starting to get a bit numb. Tina

I get this most mornings. it’s weird but doesn’t worry me and goes away quickly. Low dose amytripylene seems to help

keep smiling !

My MS started with the loss of all feeling in both arms from elbow to fingertips, 18 years ago. I too worked with my hands (editing audio tape in a newsroom with a razor blade, among other things. This was pre diagnosis, and after being mucked about by a series of locums work sent me to a specialist, who rushed me in to the National Hospital for a LP, MRI and the rest. I was kept in for a week for IV steroids, and after a few weeks was able to return to work, albeit on reduced hours/no night shifts due to no sensation in fingertips (it’s never come back). I’ve been forced to stop working completely now, but the point of all that is, I guess, just to say that it isn’t the end of the world (just the end of any musical ambition) - there’s every chance it’ll go away, some that it’ll never come back. I realise that I sound like a bringer of doom (apologies), but I’d say that the first step would be MS nurse/Neuro/whoever and ask what they can do - oral steroids have helped me greatly, several time :slight_smile: Good luck - and again, sorry if this sounds wrong/unhelpful - the idea was that it would be the opposite


AND sorry for the missing bracket, too…

Hi mrbobowen,

You posted:

I too suffer this problem and my MS Nurse asked if I slept with my arms above my head and ‘yes I do, I lie flat with my head on the pillow and my arms under the pillowand well up the bed’. The problem is caused by trapping a nerve in the shoulder so I now sleep with my arms alot lower down and the problem has gone away. I hope this is the cause of your problem. Good luck.


Crikey Kim, that sounds awful for you!

Puts my numbish feet and a couple of fingers right into perspective.

I hope your relief does come soon.

Mr S

Yes try not to worry too much although sleeping in the wrong position doesnt help it makes them even numb’er.

Both of my hands and feet are numb, went that way in 1995 a good 5 years before diagnosis. I just thought I had circulation problems. However I can honestly say you will learn ways to use your hands numb or otherwise.

Just watch what you are doing with knives, I tend to cut mine and not know it until blood appears.

Quite a few msers end up with numbness problems all over the place yet compensate. The brain is a fabulous organ capable of helping us find ways around these symptoms.

Best wishes



I to have numb hands on a morning and loss of muscles In my Right hand and weaknes My hands normally come back to Life once I wake up and move around, I was wrongly diagnosed with Carple tunnel, I have not been diagnosed with Ms but have had neurological exam from musculoskeletal specialist and advised brisk reflex amoungst other symptoms, numbness is creeping to in the right hand side. Of my face and ear, I also.have cold right toes, though they are warm touch Very strangeThere. Is. Not. One. Day that. Is. The. Same