Numb Fingers and Its Causes

Numb hand {Photo credit: healthtap)
Numb hand {Photo credit: healthtap)
Numb hand {Photo credit: healthtap)

Although the most basic reason for numb fingers is lack of blood supply, it does not necessarily mean that the patient is experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. There are many other causes of finger numbness. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is definitely among them but it does not cover all kinds of conditions. Keep in mind that this symptom can also be caused by other conditions or disorders.

The following are the most common causes of numb fingers:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS results not just with numbness but with pain as well. It is often caused by the compression of the nerve known to supply blood towards some of the fingers. When the nerve is compressed, the middle finger, thumb and pointing finger do not receive blood, causing paresthesia or a tingling sensation. When the condition progresses, it eventually results to numbness and pain.

Arterial insufficiency 
Another cause of numbness fingers is arterial insufficiency or lack of blood towards the hands. The radial and ulnar arteries are the two main blood vessels which supply blood to the hands. However, in cases of arterial insufficiency disorders such as Raynaud’s disease, circulation is disrupted due to the constriction of the arteries. Just like CTS, the condition most likely start with a tingling sensation before leading to finger numbness.

Diabetes Mellitus 
Diabetes Mellitus or DM is a condition where the blood becomes very thick due to high glucose content. This results to poor circulation and lack of blood supply towards different distal areas of the body such as the fingers. This is why DM can eventually lead to numb fingers and tingling sensations.

Multiple Sclerosis 
Another known reason for numb fingers is damage affecting the sensation nerve pathway. Multiple sclerosis is a condition which causes damage to the pathway of nerve impulses, leading to inability to deliver sensation messages towards the brain. In this case, circulation is not disrupted but the sensation is damaged, leading to finger numbness.

Frost bite 
Other conditions such as frost bite can also lead to lack of circulation towards the area. Extreme cold results to constriction of the blood vessels resulting to numbness.

Treatment for Numb Fingers 
Treating the condition is mainly focused on methods that increase circulation towards the fingers. However, when it is caused by conditions such as multiple sclerosis, it should be managed with the help of your doctor. Treatment methods include the following:

– Wear clothes and hand accessories that are least restrictive to prevent constriction on the blood vessels.
– It is highly recommended to perform exercises such as finger grip activities, finger extension exercises and flexion of the knuckles to manage and avoid such condition.
– Soak hands in warm water to promote dilation of the blood vessels.

Treatment of the underlying diseases that cause the condition is also important to help manage the situation. When experiencing numb fingers accompanied by pain and discoloration, it is best to consult a physician for early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Additionally, exercises and stretching activities that are geared towards improving the condition of the hands and the fingers should be performed regularly or as prescribed by your doctor.

For information on how to get rid of numb fingers and other hand and forearm pain, see:

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