What is finger numbness?

Finger numbness is an abnormal condition in which you feel a loss of sensation or tingling in your fingers. For instance, you may feel your fingers going numb after holding your arm in the same position for a long period of time.

Finger numbness usually arises from a lack of blood supply to an area or damage to a nerve or nerves that supply the hand, such as in carpal tunnel syndrome or a cervical disk problem. Finger numbness can also result from infection, inflammation, trauma, and other abnormal processes. Most cases of finger numbness are not due to life-threatening disorders, but it does occur with stroke and tumors.

Depending on the cause, the loss of sensation can disappear quickly, such as numbness from sleeping with your elbow and wrist bent that fades away once you move your arm around. Chronically numb fingers can be due to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or peripheral neuropathy. Chronic finger numbness generally indicates some level of damage to the nerves.

Pinky and ring finger numbness on the back and palm side of the hand can be a sign of ulnar nerve compression in the arm. Numbness of the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger may be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

Because a numb finger or numbness in general may be a symptom of a disease, disorder or condition, you should talk with your medical professional about any unusual sensations that last more than a few minutes.

If you experience finger numbness with paralysis, confusion, weakness or slurred speech, seek immediate medical attention in an emergency facility. If your finger numbness is persistent, recurrent, or causes you concern, contact a medical professional.


What other symptoms might occur with finger numbness?

Finger numbness may also occur with other symptoms or combinations of symptoms. For example, numbness, tingling and itchiness in combination may be symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Numbness due to a bulging cervical disk (in your neck) can be associated with extreme pain that extends down the shoulder, arm, hand, and certain fingers. Any symptoms occurring with finger numbness can help your doct... Read more about finger numbnesssymptoms


What causes finger numbness?

Finger numbness can be a symptom of a wide variety of diseases, disorders, or conditions that either restrict blood flow or cause injury to the nerves. Temporary finger numbness can be due to any activity that causes prolonged pressure on a nerve or nerves, such as fine motor activities (drawing), repetitive motion, and sleeping the wrong way on your arm. Finger numbness can also be due to orth... Read more about finger numbnesscauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

Your Guide to Diabetic Neuropathy

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