There are a lot of conditions that are unheard of – one such bizarre one is tingling of fingers. The pins and needles sensation on the fingers is rather unusual and might or might not cause pain. Pricking sensations at the fingertips may not be as harmless as you think – look for the symptoms and if matches what we have on our list, seek medical opinion.
Symptoms of Tingling In Fingers
Pricking sensations are the most discomforting and common symptom of the condition while sometimes it is unaccompanied by numbness, itchiness, pain in fingers and arms, sensitivity in fingers, coldness, tingling toes, burning sensations and muscular spasms. Other than that, in severe cases sufferer may have breathing or walking difficulties, paralysis, weakness, memory confusion, dizziness or unconsciousness, loss of vision and slurred speech.
Causes of Tingling In Fingers
Orthopaedic Causes: Orthopaedic conditions such as carpel tunnel syndrome and cervical spondylosis can give way to the disease. Carpet tunnel syndrome is a result of nerve compression in wrist passage called the carpal tunnel, nerves and the flexor muscles go through this passage. This painful condition can cause tingling as well as discomfort and numbness in the fingers. On the other hand, cervical spondylosis is the neck disc degenerative disease. Broken finger, neck injury and compression of arm nerve can also give tingling sensations in fingers.
Neurological Causes: damaged nerves in the fingers also result in tingling sensations. This may be due to several factors.
- In Diabetics, high blood sugar levels damage the nerves and thereby lead to the pins and needles disease.
- An inactive thyroid gland produces inadequate thyroid hormones and the glandular disease is caused Hypothyroidism which is one of the causes of tingling.
- Strokes followed by unconsciousness due to rupture of some blood vessel don’t let oxygen reach the brain and thus, tingling is caused.
- Transverse Myelitis, a neurological condition, infects or swells spinal cord and causes pricking fingertips.
- Peripheral nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy is one of the neurological reasons of pins and needles.
- Immune system of a body sometimes turns against its healthy tissues, a condition called systemic lupus erythematosus and paves the way for tingling.
- Alcoholism, heavy metal poisoning, menopause and injury to the spinal cord are some of the other reasons.
- Insufficient blood flow to the fingers gives the tingling sensations there. Frostbite is a condition which occurs when body is exposed to cold temperatures and raises discomfort in fingers, blistering and tingling.
- Peripheral Artery Disease and Raynaud’s phenomena are two more circulatory problems contributing to it. In PAD, the arteries start constricting for cholesterol and fats accumulates in the walls and reduces blood flow.
- And Raynaud’s phenomenon is the disease in that the blood vessels in toes and fingers narrow down. In both the cases, blood flow to the fingers reduces and tingling is experienced by the patient.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Tingling In Fingers
There are many ways to diagnose the disease and the extent of its extremity.
- Neurological Examination: Sensitivity of the arm is tested by a small dermatome surgery to reveal what nerves are damaged.
- EMG: Electromiography along with imaging helps track down the type of the nerve damage.
- Imaging: X-ray, MRI and CT scans can prove useful in diagnosing the condition.
- Cold simulation test: it is used to detect the Raynaud’s syndrome.
- Blood test: Abnormalities in mineral levels and diabetes is detected by performing blood tests.
Treatment of the disease focuses on finding the underlying cause first and then curing the individual symptoms that the disease has produced.
If the condition is due to an injury, it is necessary to immobilize and rest the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist and the arm. Rest is recommended if the movements of the joints cause nerve irritation like in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. Even if it is because of a pinched nerve, resting the area is the best treatment there is.
Physical therapy and splints are the supportive treatments applied along with closed or open release of endoscopic nerve in case of Carpal tunnel syndrome. However, if splints fail to carry out the relief task, steroid shots are administered inside the tunnel to decrease the inflammation caused inside.
In few cases, a minor surgery of the wrist can provide relief from the pain and inflammation. A slit is made and following the operation, carpel tunnel ceiling is cut to relax the pressure on the nerve by creating space.
There are some medications and drugs prescribed by the doctor to control the sensations and pain and also to deal with other symptoms. Analgesics reduce the pain origination because of compression of the nerve while corticosteroid injections are also suggested in order to reduce inflammation around the area. Non-steroidal anti-rheumatic drugs, antidepressants effectively get rid of the swelling and pain. Even ointments alleviate the burning sensations and tingling for a little while.
Complications of of Tingling In Fingers
Detecting the underlying cause of pins and needles disease is important as it could be reason for possible complications too. This is the reason why people are asked to get medical help – once the cause is revealed, the complications are treated and their risks are minimized. These complications include chronic pain, slurred speech, lack of strength, paralysis, disability and amputation.
Prevention of Tingling In Fingers
General measures can prevent the condition and these are easy to take care of. To start with, while you are working on the computer, take your elbows off your desk at regular intervals. Some people sleep with their hands under their head which should be avoided if you want to evade the pins and needles disease. Wearing gloves when the temperature is extremely low would help too. Other than that, don’t use mechanical screwdrivers and you would be good.
In case you experience the tingling or numbness, seek medical help. As in all other conditions, in this disease too early diagnosis and treatment can help you get better fast. You should be aware that persistent sensations of this kind could be a sign of something serious. Mental confusion, weakness and slurred speech are some of the other reasons why you should go to a doctor immediately.