Do you ever experience a tingling sensation in your hand? This feeling can occur for various reasons and is commonly referred to as pins and needles. Often, it happens from keeping your hand in one position for too long, like while you're sleeping, but subsides once you "wake it up" again.
But in some cases, it may be due to an underlying medical condition or injury. Read on to learn about three possible causes of tingling in your hands or fingers.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed. The median nerve runs from the forearm to the hand and provides the feeling in the thumb and first three fingers. When this nerve is compressed, it can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.
A variety of factors can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the most common causes is repetitive wrist motions, such as typing or using a mouse for long periods. Other possible risk factors include trauma to the wrist, arthritis, pregnancy, diabetes, and family history.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel usually develop gradually and may include:
Tingling in the fingers, especially in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
Difficulty gripping objects
The feeling of the fingers being swollen, even if they aren't
Pain or numbness that is worse at night
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar Nerve Entrapment)
Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve near the elbow becomes compressed or irritated.
The ulnar nerve is responsible for sensations in the pinky finger and half of the ring finger. It runs from the shoulder all the way down to the hand and can become compressed in several areas. When you hit your funny bone, for example, that sharp sensation is actually coming from your ulnar nerve being compressed, not a bone.
It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of the condition, but some factors include:
Repetitive bending of the elbow
Frequently leaning on the elbow
Previous elbow fractures or dislocations
Anatomical issues such as the thickening of tissues or the nerve moving out of place
People with cubital tunnel syndrome are most likely to experience symptoms when their elbow is bent. These include:
Tingling or numbness in the hand or fingers (especially in the little and ring fingers)
Pain on the inside of the elbow
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system, which is made up of the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the rest of the body. These nerves send signals between the brain and the body. When damaged, they can cause tingling or numbness in your hands or feet.
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, but infections, certain medications, heavy alcohol use, and previous injuries can also increase one's risk.
The symptoms are often constant and may include:
Tingling in your hands or feet that may radiate upward
Sensitivity or lack of sensitivity to touch or temperature changes
Sharp or burning pain
A decrease in tactile sensation
Problems with bladder, bowels, or digestion
There are many potential causes of tingling and numbness in the hands. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms regularly, it's important to see a hand specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
Dr. Joseph of Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery specializes in hand and wrist conditions and will recommend starting with a non-surgical treatment plan whenever possible.
Carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes often respond positively to the following conservative methods:
Avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms
Wearing a splint at night
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the affected nerves.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy starts with identifying and treating the underlying cause, then relieving and managing any other symptoms through medication, splints or braces, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Struggling With Tingling In Your Hand? Contact Team Joseph Today.
Dr. Joseph and his team are known for their expertise in diagnosing and treating hand and wrist conditions. If you're experiencing tingling or numbness in your hands or fingers, don’t wait! Early treatment can potentially prevent more severe and long-term damage.
Schedule an appointment with Team Joseph in Edwards, Vail, or Frisco by calling (970) 476-7220 or submitting an online request.