Every now and then we feel tingling in the fingers, which is like numbness or pins and needles sensation.1 Majority of the times, this is not a cause for worry as tingling in fingers is commonly a result of cold temperature or keeping your hands in the same position for a long time. However, tingling in fingers can also be a symptom of some serious underlying condition, which requires prompt medical treatment. Tingling in fingers can also be an initial sign of chronic illness, which should not be ignored.
So, it is important to not ignore tingling or numbness in the fingers, especially if it is persistent, in which case you should seek immediate medical attention.
Why Do My Fingers Tingle? Common Causes of Tingling in Fingers
Common Causes for Tingling in Fingers
- Staying in the same position for prolonged periods of time.
- Hindered blood circulation to the hands because of your position can too cause your fingers to tingle.
- Imbalance in the sodium, calcium or potassium levels.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Taking certain prescription medications can cause your fingers to tingle.
Serious Causes of Tingling in Fingers
- Herniated disc.
- Injury to the nerve due to an accident involving the shoulder or neck can cause your fingers to tingle.
- Damage to the nerve from chemical exposure or abuse.
- Compression on the nerve due to pressure from a tumor, scar tissue or infection.
Medical Causes of Tingling in Fingers
There are various medical conditions or diseases, which can numbness or tingling in fingers as a symptom and these are:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common cause of tingling in fingers.2
- Raynaud’s phenomenon.
- Heart stroke, including TIAs.
- Multiple sclerosis.3
Serious Symptoms with Tingling in Fingers that Require Immediate Medical Attention
You should seek immediate medical attention when you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- If you experience tingling in fingers after having a head, back or neck injury.
- If you are experiencing trouble walking or weakness.
- If you are not able to think clearly.
- If you have fainted.
- If you are not able to move your arm or leg.
- If there is slurring of the speech.
- If you are unable to focus your vision properly.
- If you have lost bowel or bladder control.
Less Serious Symptoms with Tingling in Fingers
Given below are some not so serious symptoms which can occur with tingling in fingers and for which you need to contact your doctor nevertheless:
- Pain with tingling in fingers.
- Increase in the tingling in fingers upon any movement.
- Muscle spasms.
- Pain or ache in the neck, forearm or back.
- Development of skin rash.
- Increased urination.
Treatment for Tingling in Fingers
- Treatment for tingling in fingers depends on what is causing it. If the cause is simple such as vitamin B12 deficiency, then having B12 supplements relieves the tingling in fingers.
- NSAIDs can be prescribed to reduce any inflammation present.
- If there is nerve compression, then patient is told to wear a splint or brace to help keep the wrist or elbow in a good position to decrease the compression or pressure on the nerve which is causing tingling in fingers.
- Steroid injections may be needed in some cases/causes of tingling in fingers.
- Surgery may be needed if there is any nerve damage or to reduce the bones which are compressing the nerve resulting in tingling in fingers.
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