Has it ever happened to you that your fingertips have fallen asleep? If the answer is yes and you do not know what this could be due to, continue reading this article. The numbness or tingling sensation is known as paresthesia and can occur anywhere in the body, frequently occurring in the hands, fingers, feet, legs, and arms.
The upper and lower limbs are the body parts that have the most nerve endings since they are responsible for making fine and delicate movements. Any alteration in these nerves can lead to tingling or numbness in the hands, fingers or legs, and feet, but what causes? In this FastlyHealarticle, we will answer the specific question of why your fingertips fall asleep.
Why do fingertips go to sleep: common causes
Sometimes you have likely felt the tips of your fingers asleep, and you do not know what this symptom is due to, but do not worry, here we will describe all the causes. In general, it is related to the pressure exerted on the nerves. These probable difficulties may exist concerning blood circulation, inflammatory processes, and, in severe cases, the presence of diseases, such as diabetes mellitus.
- Pressure on the nerves
This is one of the common causes of sleeping fingertips. The nerves responsible for innervating the arms come from the medulla that passes through the spinal column and reaches the most distant parts of the hands, the fingertips. The nerves can be affected by pressure exerted by tumors, dilated blood vessels, infectious processes, or nerve compression by a herniated disc at any point along this path. This pressure exerted on the nerves manifests itself with the typical tingling or numbness in the hands or fingertips.
This is another possible cause associated with numbness in the fingertips. In this condition, the characteristic symptom is a tingling sensation in one of the hands, from the fingertips to the arms. In addition to this, other frequent symptoms are facial paralysis, difficulty speaking, and decreased muscle strength on one side of the body.
In the following article, we explain all the symptoms of a stroke.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
This relatively common condition manifests itself with that tingling or numbness sensation in both the hands and the fingertips. This occurred mainly when compression on a nerve called the median nerve, which is trapped in a narrow passage between the bones and ligaments that make up the wrist, specifically through the carpal tunnel.
- Synovial cyst
This condition can appear in any part of the hand, both in the fist and fingers. It is a nodule that contains joint fluid, which compresses the nerves and generates the typical sensation of numbness, both in the hands and in the fingertips, and, finally, the loss of strength.
- Vitamin deficiency
The numbness of the fingertips can also be related to a deficiency of vitamins, especially B12, B6, B1, and vitamin E. Consequently, a nervous alteration can occur after the presence of tingling in various parts of the body, such as in the hands, legs, feet, and fingertips, also associated with other symptoms such as changes in sensitivity, irritability, and fatigue.
- Circulatory problems
Although circulatory problems often cause numbness in the legs, they can also cause this symptom in the arms, hands, and fingertips, giving rise to that sensation of tingling and pain.
- Diabetes mellitus
When diabetes is not adequately controlled and sugar levels rise disproportionately, minor nerve damage can occur in various parts of the body, such as the legs, feet, and hands, causing the symptoms of paresthesia or numbness. This is considered a frequent complication of diabetes and is known as diabetic neuropathy. It affects up to almost 50% of diabetic patients.
Another cause of numbness in the fingertips and hands is anxiety and stress. In addition to affecting this area, it can spread to the arms and tongue and be accompanied by other symptoms such as palpitations, cold sweats, and chest pain.
Other possible causes
- The migraine is preceded by symptoms known as auras, including the tingling sensation in both arms, hands, and fingers.
- Hypothyroidism can cause nerve damage when not appropriately treated, causing tingling or numbness in various parts of the body, including the hands and fingers.
- Multiple sclerosis is also another possible cause. This autoimmune disease affects the entire central nervous system, interrupting some steps of nerve impulses, decreasing sensitivity, and bringing the sensation of tingling or numbness.
What to do if my fingertips go numb
First of all, do not be alarmed. It is a reaction to some situation that is happening in your body. If the numbness does not disappear or is recurrent, go to the doctor for an evaluation and can indicate the cause of said symptoms and the treatment to follow:
- In the case of nerve pressure, the traumatologist is the doctor in charge of carrying out the appropriate treatment. Depending on the nerve injury, it is likely to indicate physical therapy or surgery.
- If you have difficulty speaking, a limitation in the middle of your body, and a tingling sensation in the fingers and hand, go immediately to the emergency room to rule out that it is a stroke.
- In case of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and, depending on the compression of the nerve, one or other exercises may be indicated to improve this symptom. However, the absolute cure will be surgery to decompress the median nerve.
- If you have a synovial cyst, it is necessary to apply cold compresses directly to the nodule to improve the inflammation and the symptoms that this condition brings. The traumatologist will indicate if it is required to aspirate the fluid or use drug therapy to improve this condition.
- If you suffer from a vitamin deficiency, improve your daily diet by enriching it with vitamin supplements.
- If you suffer from diabetes mellitus, it is essential to comply with medical treatment to avoid all the complications that this condition brings. The use of hypoglycemic agents or insulin treatment is necessary depending on the type of diabetes to be treated and the modification of the daily diet.
- In case of suffering from migraine, the neurologist is likely to indicate to you some analgesics and anti-inflammatories that allow relieving the pain. Some foods may need to be eliminated from the diet.
Exercises to relieve finger numbness
Some exercises can help relieve numbness in both fingertips and hands:
- Stretches the nerves: this is done standing up by flexing the elbow and the palm upwards, simulating the placement of a kind of glasses upside down. If the exercise is correct, you may feel a deep stretch or tightness in your hand.
- Stimulate the fingers: this is done with a tactile ring by repeatedly passing it over each of the fingers of the hands at least eight times on each of them to improve sensitivity. It is recommended to do it on both hands at least once a day.
- Stimulate circulation: it is important to clench your fist for about 5 seconds and then release it by fully stretching your fingers simultaneously. It is recommended to do it five times with both hands.
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 in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why do fingertips fall asleep, we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.