Home Brain and nervesNeurological disorders What Do Tingling Fingers Mean and causes?

What Do Tingling Fingers Mean and causes?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Have you felt your fingers go numb? Do you feel a tingling run through your hands? One of the body parts with many nerve endings in the hands and arms. In this way, they are allowed to execute finer, more precise, and more delicate movements, feel objects, and, in addition, perceive temperature changes.

You are likely to feel numbness or tingling in your fingers if there is any alteration in these nerve endings, such as compression if you have circulatory or inflammatory problems, and if you suffer from diseases such as diabetes mellitus or conditions of the nervous system.

These causes can cause you to feel this unpleasant symptom, medically known as paresthesia, which fortunately does not represent anything serious if it disappears instantly. If it becomes intense or lasts over time, it is recommended that you go to the doctor to determine the cause and the treatment you need.

If you want to know more, we invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle in which we answer: ” Why do my fingers tingle? “.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

This syndrome is considered the leading cause of tingling in the fingers or paresthesia. There is excessive compression on the median nerve at the wrist in carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also the most common occupational disease.

In this case, the nerves that leave the spinal cord and traverse the spinal column are compressed along the way. According to the function of the affected nerves, the tingling will follow a specific pattern.

In addition to the tingling sensation that can be felt in the fingers of the hands, there may also be:

  • Soft spot.
  • Pain.
  • Difficulty holding objects.
  • Feeling of swollen fingers.

Any of these symptoms can be worse at night.


What the doctor may indicate in this case will depend on the severity of the compression. A few exercises will be enough to improve this unpleasant tingling sensation. Alternatively, your GP may suggest temporarily wearing a splint or sling.

Sometimes steroid injections may be necessary to decrease inflammation. However, even though all these alternatives exist, the definitive cure will be surgical treatment to decompress the nerve.

Nerve compression or compression neuropathy

This is another crucial reason you may have a tingling sensation in your fingers. It frequently occurs temporarily and eventually when, for example, we have fallen asleep with our arms in some position that involves nerve compression, that is, when sustained pressure is exerted on a nerve.

Nerve compression is closely linked to carpal tunnel syndrome and, in turn, associated with occupational diseases. A nerve can also be under pressure due to:

  • Obesity.
  • Injuries
  • Distension of blood vessels.
  • Thickening of the muscles.
  • Cysts are located near the nerves.
  • Tumors

Logically, when a nerve is compressed in areas around the fingers of the hands, you will feel paresthesia in them.

Treatment of the tingling sensation in the fingers associated with this cause may include:

  • Improve work lifestyle.
  • Therapy is beneficial when we want to improve the tension in the muscles that can compress the nerves.
  • If compression neuropathy is due to obesity, losing weight is the best way to improve the symptoms of paresthesia.
  • In severe cases of nerve compression, the specialist may decide to perform some surgery.

Peripheral neuropathy

When there is damage to the nerves outside the brain and in the spinal cord (peripheral nervous system), it usually manifests:

  • Numbness.
  • Soft spot.
  • Pain.
  • Usually tingling in the hands or feet.

This consequence is what is known as peripheral neuropathy and is usually the result of:

  • Trauma
  • Infections
  • Hereditary causes.
  • Metabolic causes.
  • Exposure to toxins.

Peripheral neuropathy is common in people who have diabetes mellitus, excessive alcohol consumption, deficient in vitamin B12, liver or kidney disease, or suffer from hypothyroidism.

Among all the symptoms that peripheral neuropathy can cause, tingling in the fingers is the most relevant.

The doctor is in charge of determining the cause associated with peripheral neuropathy, initially ruling out the most common reasons or requiring some tests to be carried out to determine if it is some other rare cause. Treatment will depend on the nerve damage and the symptoms that are manifested.

Other causes of tingling fingers

Some other conditions or diseases can cause fingers to tingle:

  • Fibromyalgia: there may be tingling in the fingers of the hands and other parts of the body, in addition to other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and fatigue.
  • Myofascial pain: characterized by pain in the muscles or referred pain in any other part of the body and numbness in the hands and arms. It is an inherent problem in the musculoskeletal system. Currently, treatments for myofascial pain syndrome are not well described.
  • Neurological diseases: likewise, the tingling sensation in the fingers of the hands can be associated with disorders of neurological origin, especially when the sense becomes chronic or persistent. Among neurological diseases, we can mention cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), transient ischemic attacks, transverse myelitis, encephalitis, and even multiple sclerosis.
  • Nutritional deficiency or medications: the weakness of some vitamins such as B-1, B-6, B-12, or folic acid can manifest with numbness or tingling in the fingers of the hands. On the other hand, the drugs commonly used to treat cancer are also a frequent reason for paresthesia, this being their side effect.
  • Lupussystemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the human being’s immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body as if they were foreign agents. This disease usually affects any part of the body, including the kidneys, heart, joints, skin, brain, and nervous system. When the nerve endings are involved, numbness or tingling can appear in the fingers of the hands.
  • Gout: it is an inflammatory disease of the joints. Usually, it manifests with inflammation and acute pain. It occurs because uric acid crystals accumulate within and around the joints. Although it is frequent to manifest itself in the foot, the fingers of the hands are not exempt from presenting this disease.
  • Ganglion cysts: This cyst is a sac filled with clear, jelly-like fluid that usually appears on the hands and wrists. Its presence causes compression of nerves or structures, causing different symptoms such as pain and tingling to be triggered.
  • Anxiety crisis: This frequently triggers numbness in the fingers of the hands and palpitations, sweating, a feeling of shortness of breath, and abdominal pain.

Tingling in the fingers of the hands is a common symptom, and you should not worry if it disappears after a few seconds or minutes. If paresthesia becomes chronic over time and persistent, do not hesitate to consult your GP, who will make the proper diagnosis and indicate the necessary treatment according to the associated cause.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I feel tingling in the fingers of my hands, we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category.

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