Numbness in Fingertips


Most people would usually ignore the first sensation of numbness in fingertips. They would find it more of a discomfort rather than a painful feeling that would hinder them in doing their day to day activities. The numbness in fingertips usually starts with a tingling sensation which would then later on progress to numbing on the ends of the fingers. In some cases, the numbness goes away on its own, but there are other more serious causes that can pose great danger to one’s health if not given immediate attention.

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Causes of Numbness in Fingertips

The numbness of the fingertips is mainly caused by nerve damage. The nerves on the neck and the wrist are entrapped due to excessive pressure exerted on these areas. The nerves in the hand exit towards the spine via the neck, so when pressure is applied on this area, it would block the nerves that pass through the spine which would then result to the feeling of numbness in fingertips. Below are some of the other causes that results to the lack of sensation on the fingertips.

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  • Raynaud’s disease – This is characterized by the obstruction of blood flow to the fingers because of the vasospasm of the blood vessels.  It is believed that this condition is a result of regularly using tools that vibrate, or by medical conditions like atherosclerosis, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – The wrist contains the median nerve. When the nerve is compressed, the person would have carpal tunnel syndrome. The numbness worsens at nighttime and the persons who usually develop this kind of syndrome are those who use their wrist and hands on a regular basis, like working on a computer for several hours a day, sewing and driving.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy – Peripheral neuropathy usually causes numbness of the feet or the hands. The peripheral nerves are damaged due to a variety of causes and one of the most common is diabetes.
  • Buerger’s disease – Those who smoke tobacco are prone to this condition.  It is typified by swollen blood vessels in the arms and legs which could also be obstructed by blood clots. Tingling sensation on the fingers is usually the early symptom but spreads to other parts of the body too.
  • Multiple Sclerosis – Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the nerves. This results to a lot of complications in the body and numbness of the fingers is one of them.
  • Frostbite – As the tissues and skin of the fingers freeze, the lack of sensation on the fingertips sets in due to the impeded blood circulation.
  • Other Causes – Other reasons for the numb feeling on the fingertips include hand injury, blockage in the blood supply throughout the hands, tumors that are localized in the neck, inhalation of toxic chemicals like lead, migraine, and in some cases, stroke.

If numbness in fingertips persists, it is best to seek medical attention immediately. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more treatment options would be formulated by the physician to quickly, effectively and safely remedy the problem. If the numbness in fingertips is ignored, more complications that would need extensive medical procedures in order to correct could arise.

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