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Tingling and Numbness in Fingers

Medha Godbole Apr 17, 2019
Tingling sensation and numbness in fingers can be a result of quite a few underlying medical reasons. Read on to know more about this condition.
Did you ever experience a pins-and-needles sensation in your hands and fingers especially? If you are witnessing this sensation quite often, then you might have to see a doctor as soon as possible. It might not be a very serious thing, but it is always better to be on the safer side.

What is a Tingling Sensation?

Tingling refers to an abnormal sensation that can occur in any part of the body but is mainly experienced in the hands, fingers, and feet. Colloquially, it is referred to as limb falling asleep, and the person experiences a pins-and-needles sensation.
Many times, there is no serious underlying condition that gives rise to this sensation, as the cause of paresthesia (sensation of tingling, tickling or pricking) can be transient/chronic. It mostly takes place in arms, legs, fingers and feet. It is mainly related to panic attacks and hyper ventilation syndrome often coupled with an open mouth condition.

Probable Causes

Numbness and tingling can be felt due to several reasons, which may or may not be very serious. A few have been enlisted below:
  • Nerve Injury
  • Lack of blood supply
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Low electrolyte levels
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ganglion cyst in the wrist or hands
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Migraine
  • Lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamins
  • Specific medicines
  • Abnormal levels of minerals, like sodium, calcium, or potassium
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stroke
  • Hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia
  • Immune Deficiency
Apart from these, there are quite a few other causes as well.

Treatment and Home Care

✔ If there is a persistent tingling in the fingers, it is advisable to seek medical help. If it is chronic paresthesia, then there might be a problem with some neurons as well. So, an early diagnosis is imperative for the administration of right treatment.
✔ If the sensation is because of a pressed nerve, then moving that body part from a stationary position or loosening it a bit can be of great help. In addition to this, moving your head from side to side can also help.
✔ Tingling in fingers can also be felt due to the compression of a cluster of nerves in the neck region. Thus, loosening the neck can also provide relief. However, if the reason is initial stages of Bell's Palsy, this method of intervention would not work and a doctor would have to be contacted immediately.
✔ In case the tingling in fingers, hands, and feet is caused due to shingles, then a suitable antivirus medication, prescribed by a doctor, should be taken. Numbing ointments and creams can also be applied but ensure to apply them carefully.
✔ Another important thing to be borne in mind is that one should take good care of the fingers, as a decrease in sensation makes them more prone to injuries, like bruises, cuts, or bumps.

Tests and Medical Aspects

Apart from CT scan, other tests such as blood tests help the doctors determine the correct underlying cause and treatment method. These tests include:
  • Complete blood count
  • Electrolyte level (measurement of body chemicals and minerals)
  • Thyroid tests
  • Measurement of vitamin levels
  • Heavy metal or toxicology screening
  • MRI of the head and spine
  • Angiogram (A test that uses X-rays and a special dye to view inside the blood vessels)
  • CT angiogram
  • X-ray of the affected area
  • Ultrasound of neck vessels to determine the risk of a stroke
  • Vascular ultrasound
It is recommended that in case one experiences unusual symptoms, accompanying tingling and numbness, like rash, dizziness, and muscle spasm, then call a doctor immediately. Once the diagnosis is done and the cause detected, this condition can be corrected.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.