Why do hands get an itchy/tingly sensation when doing something with high vibrations like weed whacking?



Why do hands get an itchy/tingly sensation when doing something with high vibrations like weed whacking?

In: Biology

Basically your blood rushes to your hands and due to the higher blood flow your hand itches. Its just like when your legs go numb because you cut of the blood flow but as soon as you get up and move your legs blood starts flowing again and its the same tingling sensation.

Otherwise known as white finger, prolonged use of vibrating tools can cause nerve damage. It’s best to stop every 10-15 minutes when using these kinds of tools.

Something that’s been drummed into me as an electrician when I’m chasing out wiring or drilling lots of holes

Is someone able to explain how massage tools like Theragun is any different to this ? Will this cause the same issues in the long term & people don’t recognize it yet ?

Try wearing anti-vibration gloves. They have a thick rubber palm and are kinda a pain in the ass but they will do wonders to save your hands.

You can find them on Amazon, read some reviews and find out which ones are good and which aren’t.

Some people experience physical urticaria, an allergic response to a physical stimulation. This may not be it for you, but it can be caused by lots of things including heat, cold, and vibrations. Worth looking into?

…there’s also a vibration urticaria which is kind of an allergic reaction to intense vibrations? you get redness, hives, swelling itchiness etc in the hands & forearms…

I found this out the hard way trying to sand pallets to turn into a bench.


basically your immune system thinks its being attacked & releases the inflammatory yokes and boom allergic reaction to power tools. My wrist is soooo annoyed I have to hand screw stuff…

Pretty much you’ll have a tendency to clench harder which ever tool is vibrating, your nerves won’t like it and it’ll cause stiffness and inflammation in your hands/wrists/forearms thus putting pressure onto your nerves. From your neck to your hands you have 5 nerves, easily distinguishable depending on which finger goes tingly or numb. But also wear anti vibration gloves to prevent long term damage because you really don’t want to deal with nerve pain/damage.

ELI 5:
Your nerves are cells that specialize in sending signals throughout your body allowing you to feel and move.

They can be very long and they have special layers that let them transmit signals.

The fact that they are long and layered means that they are more delicate than other cells.

The vibrations knock around and damage many of the cells in your hands. The damage is kind of like a bruise on the cell. Other cells can deal with this because they are small, simpler, or easily replaced. But nerves aren’t small, simple, or easily replaced.

When they are damaged they can send weird messages. Sometimes pain, temperature, itchiness, numbness, or other weird feeling things.

Non ELI 5:
This paper has a great intro on the subject, but fair warning experiments on animals are also described:



Edit: I’m very glad many of you found this explanation helpful.

I’m getting several replies asking about personal moments of potential exposure and lasting effects. So I’m going to try to start adding some links to the occupational resources I can find below. I’m not a medical doctor or treatment professional and so while I will try to reply with resources or advice, please see your real doctor about these issues for diagnosis and treatment.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is the umbrella term for the condition that can include neurological, vascular, or musculoskeletal effects. Every body will respond differently to potential exposure levels. So duration and long term outcomes can differ. It’s therefore important to consult a doctor about treatment.

The best way to reduce risk is to limit exposure. Using PPE like vibration gloves can also help. And keeping good and warm circulation to the fingers.






From u/VfV:


From u/gwaydms:

From u/CherryFizzabelly:


Ok, I’m going to try and remember from my Neuro degree (not a doctor, just really really liked brains) here but if anyone else here has more education on this feel free to chime in. This really is a “three part answer” that involves the circulatory, musculoskeletal and the sensory systems in your body- however after looking around for some research on this through PubMed and my University Library it is highly concluded that the reason this phenomenon (called HAVS) is not fully understood (ironically, just like a whole slew of other shit that we try and study in medicine)

Basically, underneath your skin you have certain types of sensory cells that are called “mechanoreceptors” that lie between certain layers of your skin below the top layer- and are responsible for different types of tactile and touch sensations. They’re directly connected to nerves, and there are four main types of them- all of which are highly sensitive and like all other types of nervous responses in the body- can definitely be overstimulated.

However, over time- overstimulation can definitely deteriorate the types of sensation that these little receptors are meant to feel and can lead to nerve damage due to overstimulation from devices that output a high or strong levels of vibration. Now, on it’s own, the weed whacker has a really high frequency of vibration (how fast it’s vibrating), however, since you’re gripping down tightly on the tool to use it- the vibrations from the weed whacker are being felt by your body- and over time- over stimulating your nervous system- which is not equipped to handle high frequency vibration for long periods of time- and it gets in it’s own way “confused” and goes “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT FEELING I’M NOT MEANT FOR THIS”.

At the same time (someone mentioned White Finger) you have veins that supply blood to the tissues in your hands, high vibration can definitely fuck around with this (again, because you’re gripping hard onto the tool, on top of the overstimulation) and can lead to loss of oxygen being transported through the blood to your tissues- which also contributes to the pins and needles feeling that you would have as if your leg fell asleep or some shit like that.

So basically it’s your hand/arm muscles being overworked, deprived of oxygen and also overstimulated at the result of high frequency vibration induced by a tool- try using it for less time and take 5 minute breaks in between those periods- and it should happen less frequently I’d guess.