Finger sensitivity plays a large role in how we interact with the world around us. While numbness in fingers may not seem like the most pressing medical condition, you might want to consider how the fingers’ thermoreceptors contribute to your everyday activity, and even survival: the ability to correctly interpret the temperature of something tells you if it’s too hot, too cold, and whether that temperature has the potential to actually harm your body. If numbness in fingers is preventing your fingers from accurately communicating this type of information to your brain, the results could be dangerous or even life-threatening.
People who experience numbness in fingers also report the sensation of tingling in the fingers as well, which can be a strong indicator of impending nerve damage. As in many serious hand and arm conditions, the cause is likely stress or excess pressure being imposed on the nerve, which is either reducing sensation, or firing off signals while in distress. Below are a few of the common conditions that could be responsible for either numbness in fingers, or damage to the hand and arm nerves:
Numbness in fingers is one of the most important carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and is experienced in almost every patient afflicted with CTS. Due to overuse of the hand, the tissue inside the wrist will begin to swell, which imposes pressure on the median nerve. As the pressure increases, the median nerve suffers from greater damage, and can lead to tingling or numbness of the hand or fingers. If the pressure is not relieved, the nerve may suffer permanent damage.
Occurring in the elbow, the ulnar nerve may be trapped in an uncomfortable position, which puts excess pressure on the ulnar nerve, which reduces sensation as you move further down the arm. However, instead of only affecting the hand, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can cause pain in the forearm as well. Additionally, this condition may restrict finger movement, and can force fingers into an uncomfortable position. Also referred to as “Ulnar Nerve Entrapment“, this condition should not go without proper medical care.
Poor blood circulation can be the result of many conditions, not the least of which is peripheral artery disease in which the blood vessels to the arms and legs begin to narrow and restrict healthy blood flow to the fingers and toes. Decreased blood circulation not only reduces sensitivity, but can also limit the amount of nutrients and oxygen that your body receives. A condition called Raynaud’s Phenomenon might also be the culprit in which the blood vessels in the fingers and toes begin to constrict, causing numbness in fingers and sensations that are very similar to carpal tunnel symptoms. Another possible culprit, Dupuytren’s Contracture, is a condition which forces fingers into a bent position due to hardened tissue beneath the skin. The hardened tissue pulls the fingertips into the palm of the hand, a position that is not optimal for proper blood flow. Duputren’s Contracture can only be treated through hand surgery, so be sure to consult a certified hand surgeon if you suspect you are suffering from the disease.
These are just a few of the conditions that can cause numbness in fingers, but even other diseases like peripheral neuropathy and multiple sclerosis can cause a lack of sensation. Nerve damage is a serious issue, and one that should be prevented at all costs if you intend to preserve your hands’ sensitivity in the future. If you suspect that your tingling sensation could be the first of many carpal tunnel symptoms, contact a Renova specialist immediately. Our staff boasts the most knowledgeable hand surgeons and physiatrists who will explore all treatment options for each patient, recommending surgery only for those whose other options have been exhausted. At Renova, healthy hands are our passion – let us get you back in touch with your life.Back to PainFreeHands