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Ask the doctor: What causes tingling hands at night?

June 1, 2012

Q. I wake up at night with pins and needles in one or both of my hands. I've tried chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, and a special pillow, with no success. What's causing this, and what can I do to stop it?

A. The likeliest cause of your symptoms is compression of one or both of the main nerves that supply feeling and function to your hands. These nerves—the median and ulnar nerves—run from the spinal cord at the neck all the way down to the hands. If they come under pressure at any point along the way, the arm or hand may feel as if it has "fallen asleep."

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