What causes hand numbness? 33 possible conditions
Finger numbness is an abnormal sensation that’s caused by a change in sensory nerve function.
Numb fingers, numbness in fingers, numbness of fingers, tingling fingers.
Sensations are carried to the brain through neurons in the spinal cord. If the blood supply to the nerves is limited or the nerve is otherwise damaged it can produce the feeling that your finger “fell asleep”. Permanent or severe blood loss (ischemia) can result in permanent nerve damage. Nerves in the fingers can be damaged when the blood supply is decreased over time, like in diabetes.
- peripheral nerve compression
- diabetic nerve damage
- multiple sclerosis
- snake bites
- peripheral neuropathy
- pernicious anemia
- toxin exposure or poisoning
- necrotizing vasculitis
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
See your doctor if finger numbness doesn’t go away and is accompanied by other symptoms like weakness and pain. A complete medical history and physical may be required for a diagnosis. Possible required tests include:
- nerve conduction velocity tests
- imaging studies
- nerve biopsy
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and aim to relieve symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy and stretching exercises may help ease symptoms once the underlying cause is found and treated.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013, April 20). Numbness in hands. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/numbness-in-hands/basics/definition/sym-20050842
- Numbness in hands and feet. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.newhealthguide.org/Numbness-In-Hands-And-Feet.html
- Numbness or tingling. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Numbness
See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.
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