Finger numbness can trigger a prickling and tingling sensation. In some cases, the sensation might feel as slight burning. This can affect the ability of the individual to pick up objects and there is loss of strength in the hands.
It is important to note that finger numbness can range as a symptom that arises occasionally to a condition that disrupts with daily tasks.
What are the common causes of finger numbness?
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – this condition arises if the nerve providing sensation to the hand is obstructed or pinched. The condition often results to finger numbness especially the thumb, index and middle fingers.
- Cervical radiculopathy – this occurs if a nerve leaving the neck is crushed or inflamed.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – this is an autoimmune condition that results to swollen, tender and painful joints. It can also cause tingling, burning and numbness in the hands.
- Raynaud’s disease – this condition causes the small arteries in the fingers to spasm which results to finger numbness
- Diabetes – diabetic neuropathy can result to damage to the nerves in the hands and feet.
- Ulnar nerve entrapment – the ulnar nerve running on the side of the little finger is crushed or compressed
Management of finger numbness
- An over-the-counter medication is usually given by the doctor to lessen the inflammation such as NSAIDs.
- A brace or splint is also an option to keep the elbow or wrist in a position to prevent crushing of the nerve.
- Allowing the hand and wrist to rest can help lessen the inflammation at home. An ice pack can also be applied on the site.
- Steroid shots might be suggested by the doctor to lessen the inflammation.
- Surgery might also be an option to reduce the nerve damage or get rid of bones that are crushing the nerve.
What is the outlook?
Finger numbness can be managed if it is not accompanied by symptoms that necessitate medical attention. For overuse injuries, getting enough rest is enough. In some cases, the doctor might suggest specific treatment options based on the underlying cause.