ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Numbness in Fingers - Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

Updated on December 2, 2013

What is Finger numbness?

This is not a medical condition or disorder but rather an annoying, common complaint/symptom that is often associated with a restricted blood supply in your fingers or associated with a neurogenic debilitating disease. Although it may be annoying it is often a serious symptom that needs to be checked by your physician early to get the right diagnosis and treatment. It is a symptom that should not be ignored, especially if you do not know what the cause is.

Causes

There are many different reasons that can cause numbness in your fingers and not all of them are serious and need to be addressed by your physician. Numbness in your finger can be permanent or it can be temporary due to any type of activity that can put prolonged pressure on the nerves or nerve.

Some of the causes of numbness in fingers can include:

  • From repetitive motion
  • Fine motor activities such as typing, writing, or drawing.
  • Sleeping the wrong way on your arm.
  • Deficiency in vitamin B13, potassium, calcium, or magnesium.
  • Excessive smoking
  • Toxins in seafood
  • Insect or animal bites.

Finger numbness can be caused by circulatory problems from lack of blood flow because of:

  • Extremely cold temperatures or frostbite
  • Narrowing of the arteries because of the buildup of cholesterol and fat on the walls of the arteries called peripheral artery disease (PAD). It is also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
  • The narrowing of blood vessels in your fingers when exposed to stress, sometimes, and to cold called Raynaud’s phenomenon. This is a rare disorder.

Finger numbness can also be caused by moderate to serious orthopedic disorders. This can lead to peripheral or spinal nerve damage. Some of these can include:

  • Having a broken finger that affects a nerve
  • Herniated disk
  • Degenerative disk disease in your neck called cervical spondylosis.
  • Neck injury
  • Compression or entrapment of the ulnar nerve if you have numbness in your ring and pinky finger that can be due to problems in your elbow, wrist joint, or shoulder
  • Problems with the median nerve if you have numbness in your index finger along with abnormal sensations in your middle finger and thumb. This condition is normally caused by carpal tunnel syndrome

Finger numbness can also be caused by injury, damage, or nerve compression due to the following conditions.

  • Damage to nerves due to high blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes called diabetic neuropathy.
  • Heavy metal poisoning such as from lead.
  • Under active thyroid known as hypothyroidism.
  • A disease that affects your spinal cord and brain known as multiple sclerosis.
  • Non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue in your finger known as neuroma.
  • A disorder of the peripheral nerves that are on the outside of your spinal cord and brain known as peripheral neuropathy.
  • Tumor or spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • A neurological disorder that causes the inflammation of your spinal cord known as transverse myelitis.
  • A disorder in which your body attacks its own healthy tissues and cells known as systemic lupus.
  • A compression of a nerve in your spine known as radiculopathy.
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

Symptoms

There may be a combination of symptoms that occur with finger numbness. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • A burning feeling
  • Fingers that are cold
  • Pain in the fingers, hand, or arm
  • When writing, drawing, or typing you may experience an increase in the numbness of your fingers.
  • Having an itchy feeling
  • Spasms in your muscles
  • Pain in your neck
  • Prickling or pins and needles feeling.
  • Rash
  • Twitching
  • A combination of itchiness and tingling may be symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
  • Extreme pain that does down your shoulder, hand, arm, and fingers may be symptoms of bugling cervical disk in the neck.

In some cases, other symptoms combined with finger numbness could indicate a life-threatening or serious condition that should be evaluated immediately. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Loss of conscious for just a brief moment or confusion.
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Having trouble walking
  • Being dizzy
  • Having finger numbness after a back, neck, or head injury.
  • Changes or loss of vision
  • Speech that is slurred
  • Loss of strength or weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Tingling and numbness in your fingers, feeling like you are wearing gloves, hands feel extremely cold or hot could be the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
  • Numbness in your index, middle fingers, and thumb but very seldom in your pinkly finger along with weakness in the hands and radiating pain could be symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Finger numbness along with tenderness, inability to move the finger, and swelling can be symptoms of a broken finger.

Treatment

The proper treatment depends on what is causing the finger numbness. If it is continually then you should seek the advice of your physician.

You can treat these underlying conditions with this type of treatment.

  • For the symptoms of severe diabetes condition you need to bring down your blood sugar levels along with your cholesterol levels. You can do this by eating a healthy diet and monitoring your blood sugar levels. Your physician may prescribe medication to help get your blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels lower.
  • For symptoms of nerve compression in the peripheries or spine you need to see your physician. They may prescribe medication, physical therapy, exercises, or a combination of these. If it is a severe case you may have to have surgery.
  • For symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome you will need to rest your fingers or maybe wear a wrist splint or have steroid injections. If it is a severe case, your physician may do surgery.
  • Massage your fingers so the oxygen can reach the cells in your fingers.
  • Apply warm or cold compresses
  • Make sure that you are not low in potassium and if so, take a potassium supplement. Your physician can check your potassium level by doing a blood test.
  • Exercise your fingers.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • usvascularcenter profile image

      USA Vascular Centers 

      9 months ago from New York

      Really very happy to say,your post is very useful.

    • profile image

      mardia361.com 

      3 years ago

      Very useful info...

    • profile image

      juliet 

      3 years ago

      Please more information about tingling and numbness of finger and arm.And how yo cure it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)