Almost all people sometime or other experience numbness and tingling sensation in fingers and thumb. This “pins and needle” tingling or loss of sensation in majority of cases is temporary and heals after sometime before it makes you anxious. It can be due to lack of circulation in a particular area or irritation of the nerve innervating a particular finger or fingers for a fraction of minute.
Numbness in medical parlance is referred as paraesthesia. This discomforting condition occurring for one time may not be a concern to the person, but recurrence or numbness that lasts for days and months needs to be diagnosed and treated. Several causes have been associated with finger numbness. Diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome and vitamin deficiency are the most common reasons for finger numbness.
What Causes Numbness In Fingers?
There are numerous causes for numbness in fingers. Some of them are temporary and heal without any treatment. However, some of them are concerning if the sensation persists for a long duration. Numbness of fingers can result in accidental injury and burns due to loss of sensation.
- Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common causes for numbness in fingers.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused due to compression of radial nerve in the wrist joint that consists of several tendons originating from elbow.
- Vitamin deficiency mainly vitamin B complex, especially vitamin B12 deficiency can cause numbness and tingling sensation in fingers and toes.
- Peripheral arterial disease is a condition in which the flow of blood is reduced in the artery. It is caused due to formation of plaque made up of cholesterol.
- Numbness in fingers, hands, legs can be a sign of leprosy. It is a disease caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium laprae. In this disease peripheral nerve is affected.
- Patients suffering from arthritis specially affecting fingers can suffer from numbness in fingers.
- Holding an instrument or an object for long time in one position can make your fingers numb.
Symptoms Of Numbness In Fingers
Numbness and tingling sensation itself is a symptom of a medical condition. This symptom may have many other accompanying symptoms, those of the underlying condition. For example there is associated rigidity in finger joints in disease such as arthritis.
- Tremors with numbness can be associated in thyroid disease.
- Lack of circulation causing numbness may have other symptoms such as pale fingers, color change of nail and finger etc.
- Sudden loss of sensation can be a symptom of impending paralytic attack. Usually the symptom develops in aged individuals.
Treatment Options For Numbness In Fingers
Treatment of numbness or burning and tingling sensation will depend on the underlying cause. If the underlying cause is holding an object for a long period of time, no treatment may be necessary as over a period of time the sensation is reversed.
- In condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, brace and physiotherapy of wrist joint helps to reduce the condition. However, in severe carpal tunnel syndrome, patient may need surgical repair to relieve the nerve compression.
- Controlling blood sugar level is necessary to prevent and treat numbness caused due to diabetic neuropathy.
- A gentle massage of fingers with olive oil helps to improve blood circulation. You may also place your fingers in a bowl of warm water for a period of time before massaging.
- Diet plays important role to improve numbness present since many months. Patient should avoid sugar and sugary products if he is diabetic. He should exercise regularly.
- Include vegetables and fruits in your diet. Both are rich in B complex vitamins. You can also take supplements of vitamin B12 if this vitamin is deficient in your body.