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What are the Common Causes of Tingling in Fingers and Toes?

By Marisa O'Connor
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are many common causes of tingling in fingers and toes, the primary ones being nerve damage and poor circulation to these extremities. The causes may be temporary, such as with sitting or sleeping in the wrong position, or they may be more serious and long term. Injuries to the central or peripheral nervous system can also lead to digit tingling. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, alcoholism, and hyperthyroidism, can also lead to these tingling sensations.

One of the most common causes of tingling in fingers and toes is an interruption of blood circulation to those areas. Most people have experienced the pins and needles sensation associated with part of the body falling asleep. The body parts don't actually fall asleep; instead, they go numb due to a lack of blood flow to the area. This could be caused by a number of reasons, including sitting or sleeping in a position that pinches the veins leading to the area. When the blood flow is restored, it can be felt as a tingling sensation.

Repetitive activities that use the hands and feet can also cause tingling in fingers and toes. Some of these common activities include jumping, dancing, or running, and when done over a long period of time can pinch or irritate nerve tissue connected to the toes, causing tingling. Repetitive activities can also cause nerve tissue damage, leading to finger tingling. These activities include typing, texting, or playing an instrument.

Remaining in a still or resting position for a prolonged period of time can also result in tingling in the fingers and toes. Inactivity of the hands and feet can cause problems in the nerve tissue, especially when resting in a position that pinches or irritates the nerves. This is commonly experienced when people sit or stand for long periods of time in cramped conditions. Crowded places often cause people to stand or sit in unnatural ways in order to maintain personal boundaries, but if the positions cause pinched or irritated nerves, they can also cause tingling.

Some diseases can cause circulatory problems and nerve damage, which can lead to tinging in fingers and toes. Alcohol abuse, low physical activity, and radiation therapies can all contribute to the causes of finger and toe tingling. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, and lupus are some diseases that can cause nerve damage and tingling sensations in the extremities.

Injuries can also cause tingling in fingers and toes. Damage to the neck or spinal cord can affect the entire nervous system. The toes and feet are often the first places to suffer from nerve injuries because they are the farthest points from the central nervous system, which is made of the brain and spinal cord.

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Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Aug 20, 2014

I had a back spasm three months ago. It caused some nerve damage. Or the nerve damage caused the spasm, I'm not sure. But I've been dealing with tingling in my left leg, feet and toes every since.

By SarahGen — On Aug 19, 2014

In the past, issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and symptoms like tingling in fingers were only experienced by people who had to repeat movements for a profession. For example, carpal tunnel used to be known as the typist's syndrome. Factory workers working in an assembly line were another group that experienced it often because they have to repeat the same movement all day and every day.

But now, thanks to technology and widespread use of computers and cell phones, these health problems have spread to all of the population. My fifteen year old niece was diagnosed with tendinitis of her writs because of excessive typing recently. She complained of constant tingling in her fingers. Well of course! She was texting her friends all day on her cell phone.

By stoneMason — On Aug 18, 2014

I have diabetes and I'm very much aware of the condition called neuropathy which is a risk for diabetics. It basically means nerve damage and the effects usually start out with the toes and fingers and then move up to the feet, hands and legs.

I already suffer from poor circulation. I'm constantly using heat pads in winter. On some very cold days, I do experience numbness and tingling of my toes and fingers. It scares me but keeping them warm seems to relieve the symptoms. I'm still young so I'm not sure how big of an issue this will be when I'm older as the risk of neuropathy increases.

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