HANDS & FINGERS NUMBNESS
Numbness of the fingers and/or hands typically is a result of conditions that affect the nerves and/or blood vessels that supply the hand.
Numbness of the fingers or hands is often associated with tingling. These symptoms are referred to as parenthesis of the fingers.
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves of the extremities that often results in numbness or tingling. Longstanding or uncontrolled diabetes is one of the major causes of peripheral neuropathy. Alcohol abuse is another cause of peripheral neuropathy. A number of conditions are associated with numbness, burning, pain, or tingling of the fingers and hand, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud's disease, and vascular diseases.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the base of a person's hand. The median nerve passes through it, and the pinching of this nerve can cause numbness, itching, or pain in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger. Carpal tunnel syndrome often causes the hand to go numb while a person is sleeping because of the position that they hold it in.
A person may be able to treat this condition by changing the way in which they use their hands. For example, a person may get carpal tunnel syndrome because of how they sit at a desk while using a computer. Changing the chair, mouse, or keyboard that they use may resolve the issue.
Alternatively, a doctor may suggest that they temporarily wear a splint to prevent or reduce swelling. Splints help prevent the hand from going numb, especially at night
Compression neuropathy is when pressure on a nerve causes a loss of feeling and weak or twitchy muscles in parts of a person's body. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of compression neuropathy.
According to the ASSH, a nerve may come under pressure due to an injury, enlarged blood vessels, the thickening of the muscles, or cysts that grow near a nerve. A compressed nerve in the wrist, elbow, forearm, or neck can result in the loss of feeling in a person's fingers.
People can make lifestyle changes to treat mild compression neuropathy. For example, creating a more ergonomic work station can improve neuropathy that has developed due to movements at work.
Physical or occupational therapy may be useful to relieve tight muscles that are compressing nerves. These types of therapy can also teach a person how to avoid causing symptoms in the future.
Obesity can also cause compression neuropathy, so losing weight may reduce symptoms.
A person with severe compression neuropathy might require surgery.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to a person's peripheral nervous system. This system helps transmit signals across a person's body.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause many different symptoms depending on the nerves that it affects. These symptoms may include the loss of feeling in the hands.
There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy. It can be either genetic, which means that a person inherits it from a biological parent, or acquired.
Causes of acquired peripheral neuropathy include:
excessive, long-term alcohol consumption
vitamin B-12 deficiency
chronic liver or kidney disease
There are many rarer underlying causes of peripheral neuropathy. A doctor may test for these once they have ruled out the common causes.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy will depend on where the nerve damage occurs and the specific symptoms that the individual is experiencing.