Numbness in fingers can be caused by a number of different conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, stroke, spinal cord injury, heart attack, and vasculitis. The treatment for finger numbness can vary depending on the cause. The numbness is usually caused by the compression or irritation of a nerve leading to the hand.
Symptoms that typically accompany numbness in fingers and hand include tingling, burning, weakness, or sharp pain in the hand and fingers. Some causes of numbness in the hand and fingers can be relatively mild disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Other causes, however, can be more serious, such as a stroke, and require immediate medical attention. Diabetic neuropathy is another dangerous condition that starts out with numbness and tingling in the extremities.
Numbness in fingers can be a symptom of a severe condition such as a stroke. If the numbness is accompanied by dizziness, weakness, paralysis, confusion, or a sudden severe headache, seek emergency medical care immediately. If the numbness begins suddenly or involves the whole arm, it may also be indicative of a serious problem that requires medical attention.
One of the most common causes of finger tingling and numbness is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the nerve in the wrist that enervates the hand. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hands and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications or by wearing wrist splints to keep the wrist straight. In severe cases, surgery is required.
Type 2 diabetes can also cause numbness in fingers and hand. Diabetes is a condition that interferes with the body’s ability to process sugar. Diabetes can damage the nerves over time, a condition called neuropathy, and this can lead to numbness and tingling that typically begins in the fingers or toes. Healthy eating and exercise can help keep diabetes under control, but some people may need to monitor their blood sugar and take insulin.
Vasculitis changes the walls of the blood vessels, thickening or thinning them. It is caused by inflammation of the blood vessels. Vasculitis can also cause numbness in fingers or the hand, along with joint pain, weakness, weight loss, and a loss of appetite. Vasculitis is typically treated with steroids that can help treat inflammation or immune system suppressing medications. Immune system cells cause vasculitis inflammation, so a medication that kills these cells can help.