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If you are experiencing numbness over the back of your thumb and hand, this could be coming from the radial nerve. Let’s take a look at what radial nerve is, and the conditions associated with it.


The superficial branch of radial nerve travels down towards the back of the hand underneath the brachoradialis muscle just before the wrist. It supplies sensation to the dorsum of the thumb, and part of the index and middle fingers.

Sometimes, if you tap over the distal forearm and wrist on the thumb side, you can often feel a numbness or tingling down towards the thumb and back of hand. This is the radial nerve. Because it is so close to the skin surface it can become compressed with anything tight around the wrist such as a watch. Compression at this site is called Wartenburg’s syndrome.

Treatment can include removing the cause of compression, oedema management, nerve gliding exercises, splinting to rest the nerve and activity modification. One of our hand therapist would be happy to help. Contact us today to book in an initial consultation.

Thermoplastic Long opponens splint.

Radial nerve gliding exercise start position
Radial nerve gliding exercise end position