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Muscle Weakness in Hands: What to Do?

Muscle weakness in hands can be irritating, particularly if it is such that it stops you from carrying out everyday tasks.  There are a few different factors that can cause this condition, some might be self-manageable, but others may require doctor intervention and treatment with medication or therapy. If you are worried about the frequency or severity of your hand muscle weakness you should gain advice from a qualified medical professional.

Treatments for Hand Muscle Weakness

Possible Causes of Hand Muscle Weakness

You may notice the muscles in your hands become weaker over time, or alternatively some people experience a more sudden loss of strength. Both can have different reasons:

  • Hand cramps. These could occur due to repetitive strain injuries - such as from constant typing or painting, dehydration, or pregnancy to name but a few.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. This is due to regular pressure being applied to the median nerve inside your wrist, which can often be a result of repeating an action which involves a tight grip.

  • Motor neuron disease. This is a complicated condition that can affect people in different ways. It involves the degeneration of motor neurones, which are responsible for carrying messages to and from the brain.

Treatments for Hand Muscle Weakness

There are several actions that can be advised for alleviating hand muscle weakness, designed to improve or recover strength, and also alleviate pain or cramps. Treatments include:

Gentle exercises

Short term spams can temporarily inhibit you from using your hands, so regular, small movements can help to build up strength in the hand. This might be a series of circular motions starting at the wrist, or a repetitions of gripping an object such as a stress ball.

Taking breaks from repetitive actions

If your hand muscle weakness is due to physical activity such as writing or playing an instrument, it can be advisable to ensure you have regular breaks to decrease the likeliness of cramps.


In addition to gentle exercises, it is recommended that you try to find time each day to stretch your hand muscles. For example, pushing the palm of your hand on a flat surface while bending your forearm forwards should provide a nice stretch.

Most of the time hand muscle weakness is a short term affliction, which passes after carrying out some small stretches or movements. If you are having difficulties using your hands frequently, you should discuss your experience with your doctor in order for them to explore the potential causes, and then suggest some management techniques that you may not have tried.

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  • Medline Plus. (2016). Hand or foot spasms. Retrieved May 17, 2017, from
  • National Health Service UK. (2016). Carpal tunnel syndrome. Retrieved May 17, 2017, from
  • Health Talk Online. (2014). Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Retrieved May 17, 2017, from