Finger Numbness and Tingling: Getting Answers and Solutions

Finger numbness and tingling is also known by its medical term “paresthesias”.  While this condition has been linked by some to a low calcium level, there are many different causes for this condition. 

The primary reason that people get paresthesias, is carpal tunnel.  Carpal tunnel has been known for many years to be the underlying cause for patients that have finger numbness and tingling.  In addition, this can be painful after the tingling sensation fades.  The pain may feel like pressure, and may extend from the fingers up to the wrist and even the forearm.  As carpal tunnel progresses, the numbness and tingling tend to get worse.

Specific fingers that have the numbness and tingling can also be an indicator of what is really happening.  The 4th and 5th fingers are directly linked to the ulnar nerve.  Any sensations here can be directly affected by someone who is experiencing pressure on the elbow, or even pressure in their chest. 

Patients who have diabetes may experience a condition called diabetic neuropathy, or as some call it, neuropathy diabetes.  This condition usually progresses rather slowly and usually begins in the feet rather than in the hands.  As the condition progresses, it tends to spread to other parts of the body, and will cause finger numbness and tingling.  Diabetic neuropathy is better known as a silent crippler, because it also affects the muscles over time and causes damage over time leaving one with a definite need for physical rehabilitation.  In some cases, patients may be deemed beyond physical rehabilitation, but over the past few years that has changed with the idea that if you stay active it makes a dramatic difference in your life. 

A large contributor to this troublesome sensation in your hands can be caused by Multiple Sclerosis.  Multiple Sclerosis is tricky, and can begin early on in life as a young adult, leaving doctors to order a battery of tests that discourages the patient and their families.  This disease is an autoimmune disease so it affects multiple parts of the body and will often mask other conditions.  MS affects the central nervous system and over time will damage the nerves and affects all patients differently.  No two patients have the same symptoms when it comes to MS, so it’s all about early detection.

One other common condition that you don’t hear much about is cervical spondylosis.  Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative joint disease that affects anyone who has had significant wear and tear on the cervical spine.  This will affect the discs as well as the cartilage in the neck, so it can cause quite a bit of pain.  Once the compression hits those spinal nerves, pain will hit the other extremities which in turn can lead to finger numbness and tingling.  This condition really hits home with bad headaches, the neck pain and further on down the line. 

Degeneration of the spin and its counterpart usually begin to occur around the age of 30, and once you begin to experience the headaches, the neck pain and other pain in the body you really aren’t fully aware of what is causing it.  Getting a medical exam either way will help you understand what is causing your symptoms, and in addition help you and your doctor find a way to treat them.  Treatment should be based on the root of the problem, so understanding the cause is key. 

Pay close attention to your symptoms, and write things down as time allows.  This way when you see your doctor, it will help him or her to have a better understanding for both of you on what needs to happen and what your course of treatment should be, along with the need for any medications. 


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