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How do I Treat Numbness in Fingers?

By Sarah Kay Moll
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By truman12 — On Dec 14, 2011

I have suffered from this problem for a long time now and wondered for years what causes numbness in fingers. I've asked many doctors and had myself examined from head to toes but they could never pinpoint the cause of the tingling and numbness in my fingers. Now its something I just live with and hope that a diagnosis will come in the future.

It hard though, and really frustrating to think that whatever is wrong with you is something that science can't understand. Look at all they can diagnosis and treat safely, you would think that the human body was completely figured out. But they haven't figured out my problem. My fingers are numb right now and will be into the foreseeable future.

By gravois — On Dec 14, 2011

I suffered from numbness in my fingers and hands for years. It was not a constant thing but something that would come on suddenly and strongly. Sometimes it would last for a few minutes and sometimes it was more like an hour.

It only went away once I quit my job as a carpenter and got a job where I didn't use my hands so much. It think the cause of my problem was all the power tools I used. They send a constant vibration into your hand and wrists and I think over time I developed some kind of stress disorder. I know lots of guys in the trades who suffer from this same problem.

None of the is scientific. I never talked to any doctor about this problem before or since. But I think there is some logic here and the problem cleared up really quickly after I changed jobs.

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