How to Relieve and Prevent Numb in the Hand

If you're experiencing numbness in your hand, particularly, the pinky and ring fingers, the most likely cause is ulnar nerve compression or entrapment.

The ulnar nerve runs from the spine, past the shoulder blades, down the arm, across the outer bend of the elbow and down the arm to the pinky and ring fingers.

Entrapment occurs when the nerve is irritated or compressed, often occurring at the the elbow, to cause the arm, wrist, hand or fingers to become numb. Most people experience the numb fingers in their non-dominant hand because of common habits.

These tricks and exercises canrelease the ulnar nerve and help put an end to the numbness.

Know the cause

  1. The most common cause of tingling and numbness is resting one left elbow on a desk and leaning your chin in the hand while sitting at the computer. Since the ulnar nerve runs across the outer bend of the elbow, it becomes compressed by the hard desk.

    Kick this habit by sitting up straight in your chair whenever possible. And if you're reading at the computer (and don't need both hands to type) keep the hand you don't use to control the mouse straight down by your side to prevent it becoming a chin rest

  2. Another cause is resting the elbow on the car door while driving.

    Give your arm a break by keeping both hands on the wheel. Not only will you reduce the risk of this type of injury, you'll maximize safety on the road. As an alternative, rest the arm you're not driving with on your leg.

  3. Sleeping with your arm curled up to your chest can also compress nerves in your arm and lead to sporadic numbness or tingling

    Prevent from sleeping in this position by wrapping a towel around your arm at the elbow before bed. This will help keep it somewhat straight in your sleep, especially during the rehab phase.


    First, extend the arm straight out in front of you, palm facing upward, bending down at the wrist.

  5. Next, straighten your wrist while raising your arm, bending at the elbow.

    Repeat 3 or 4 times, 3 times a day.


    First extend your arm straight out to the side. Make a fist and curl the fist forward toward your body while keeping your arm straight only bending at the wrist.

  7. Next rotate the fist up, keeping your arm straight and wrist bent.

    Repeat 3 or 4 times, 3 times a day.

  8. If you kick the habits that cause the nerve entrapment and exercise your arm with these moves, you should experience relief from the hand pain and numbness in about a week.


    Intense pain or numbness in the entire hand or arm, or pain that lasts for more than a week should be seen by a physician.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.