Sometimes fingers go numb, or people experience a tingling sensation because the hands go to sleep. After shaking the hand, the numbness and tingling go away, and people move on. However, tingling sensation and numbness are common symptoms of several underlying conditions, including those affecting the peripheral nervous system. When these sensations are experienced in addition to more severe symptoms, such as dizziness, confusion, or numbness to other parts of the body, it’s recommended to seek medical attention soon.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our experienced team of board-certified spinal specialists carefully assesses our patient’s health conditions to determine the best treatment options. We know how challenging it is to live with chronic pain and other uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms with little to no idea where it’s coming from or why it’s happening. The medical team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can help find the source of your pain and discomfort and the most effective way to treat it. Find much-needed pain relief by contacting NJ Spine & Orthopedic.
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The nerves in the body are responsible for transmitting messages to and from the brain. When nerves are damaged, compressed, or irritated, numbness and tingling can occur.
Conditions known to cause finger numbness and tingling and possible treatments are listed below.
One of the most common conditions that lead to finger numbness and tingling is carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a passageway at the base of a person’s hand. The median nerve passes through this tunnel, and the pinching of this nerve can cause itching, numbness, or pain in the thumb, index finger, ring finger, and middle finger. Doctors need a detailed medical history and must ask about other conditions, how the patient uses their wrist, and if they have experienced any prior injuries to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome.
Individuals can treat this condition by adjusting the way they use their hands. For instance, a person may develop carpal tunnel syndrome due to how they sit at their desk while working. Changing their chair, mouse, or keyboard can be an effective way to resolve the issue. Alternatively, a doctor may suggest the patient temporarily wear a splint to prevent or reduce swelling. Splints can also help prevent a hand from going numb, especially at night.
If these more conservative methods don’t resolve the issue or the symptoms are more severe, the patient may need steroid injections to reduce inflammation. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to create more room for the nerve to pass through the carpal tunnel.
Compression neuropathy is when there’s pressure on the nerve that causes a loss of feeling, weakness, or twitching of muscles. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of compression neuropathy. A nerve can come under pressure due to injury, enlarged blood vessels, the thickening of the muscles, or cysts that grow near the nerve. Compressed nerves in the wrist, elbow, forearm, or neck can result in losing feeling in a person’s fingers.
People can address the issue by making lifestyle changes. For instance, they can create a more ergonomic workstation to improve neuropathy developed because of movements at work. Physical or occupational therapy can also relieve tight muscles and compress nerves. These types of therapies can also teach patients how to avoid causing symptoms in the future. In some cases, patients with severe compression neuropathy may require surgery to address the pain.
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to a person’s peripheral nervous system. This system helps transmit nerve impulses across the person’s body. Peripheral neuropathy can lead to many different symptoms depending on the affected nerves. These symptoms may include loss of feeling in the hands or fingers.
There are many reasons that a person may develop peripheral neuropathy. It can be genetic (inherited from a biological parent) or acquired. A person may acquire peripheral neuropathy because of the following:
There are also rare underlying causes of peripheral neuropathy. A doctor may test for these once they’ve ruled out the more common causes. Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on where the nerve damage is located and the specific symptoms that the patient is experiencing.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in various parts of the body. Other associated symptoms include:
People with fibromyalgia are more likely than others to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment options largely depend on the patient’s specific symptoms.
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a musculoskeletal condition that causes muscle pain or referred pain in other parts of the body. Symptoms also include numbness of the hands and forearms. Treatment options depend on the underlying cause of MPS.
All medications have possible side effects. Some medications, such as cancer treatment drugs, can cause numbness and tingling in a person’s hands and fingers. These side effects may be temporary or permanent. The medical team responsible for a patient’s treatment keeps a close eye on the side effects of medication to manage the dosage and side effects as best as possible.
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There are many reasons a person may experience numbness or tingling in their fingers. The symptoms may resolve without treatment or minor lifestyle changes. However, when the numbness and tingling don’t go away, it may be time to contact a specialist who can determine the cause and the most suitable treatment option.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we encourage our patients to explore all their options before making any final decisions. We believe that patient care is more than just performing the procedure; it’s being there for our patients before, during, and after their procedures. If you’re in pain, you deserve to know why. Learn more about the condition affecting you and discover how NJ Spine & Orthopedic can provide you with the most suitable treatment possible. Schedule an appointment today by contacting us at (866) 553-0612 or completing our contact form.
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