Imagine how difficult it is for a person if his fingers are inactive. His routine day to day activities will become impossible. In humans, this terminal part of hand is extremely important. It has many functions to perform such as holding an object, writing and typing etc.
Besides these functions, nature has given large number of sensory receptors in the fingers.
Numbness in fingers in simple words is loss of sensation or a feeling of pins and needles. Finger numbness is abnormal. Tingling and numbness can occur in any finger or all the fingers. The feeling can be temporary as it happens after holding an object for long time in one position. Or the condition can prevail for a long duration.
Causes Of Finger Numbness And Tingling
The main reason for finger numbness is improper blood circulation and damage to the nerves supplying the fingers.
Conditions related to lack of blood circulation that may cause numbness in fingers include:
- Peripheral artery disease: it occurs when the blood vessels become narrow due to fat deposition in its walls. This retards the blood flow to the extremities. Peripheral artery disease is common in lower limbs.
- When the finger is exposed to too much cold weather. Frostbite is another reason for fingers becoming numb.
- A severed blood vessel due to trauma can be a contributory factor for causing tingling sensation besides pain in the concerned finger.
Finger numbness occurring as a result of nerve damage:
- Stroke: it is one of the common reasons for feeling of numbness in fingers. Together with finger numbness, there may be associated paralysis of hand and legs.
- Brain tumor: compression or proliferation of the tumor in the area of the brain can cause loss of sensation in the fingers.
- Peripheral neuropathy due to lack of vitamin B12 or in disease such as diabetes can give rise to pins and needles in the fingers.
- Alcoholic neuropathy is common among alcoholics.
- Injury to the spinal cord, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis etc can also affect fingers.
Few orthopedic reasons such as cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Ulnar nerve entrapment, or a fractured finger can cause numbness in finger.
Treatment For Numbness In Fingers And Toes
As there are many reasons triggering finger numbness, it is important to evaluate and analyze the condition.
- If the numb feeling is of short duration, most often it is due to improper sleeping posture, where the nerve in the forearm may have been compressed. Generally after sometime, the numb feeling subsides without any treatment.
- In case if the reason is carpel tunnel syndrome, where the median nerve is compressed in the wrist band, a wrist splint will keep your wrist straight. This will help in relieving the numbness and tingling in the fingers. Abstain from activities which need repetitive bending at the wrist joint. However, in grave situation such as when a person is unable to grasp the object or if it falls off on holding repeatedly, surgery may be required to release the tension on the nerve.
- If the numbness of fingers is due to diabetic neuropathy and alcoholic neuropathy, proper medical advice from physician is essential.
- Intake of vitamins especially B6 and B12 as supplement and in diet helps to reduce numbness in fingers. Natural source of these vitamins include foods such as brown rice, sweet potato, chicken, eggs, fish, meat, etc.
If the finger numbness prolongs for many days, it is necessary to consult the doctor.