What causes numbness and tingling in my fingers and hands?
As Osteopaths, we commonly see patients who experience numbness and tingling in their fingers and hands.
There are a number of different reasons this can happen. All of the nerves and blood vessels in our arms and hands begin in the neck, and travel all the way down past a number of muscles and joints, to the fingers. Due to the long pathway they travel, along the way there may be areas where the nerves and blood vessels can be compressed.
Some common reasons for pins and needles in the hands include:
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – the area around your collarbone is an important intersection for these vessels. If there has been trauma to the area, or ongoing postural problems, it can cause the nerves and blood vessels to become irritated.
- Neck dysfunction or disc problems – All of our nerves in our arms begin in the neck, therefore if the joints in the neck are restricted or dysfunctional, it may have an impact on the nerves in the hands. Disc bulges in the neck area can also potentially affect the nerves and present with symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands.
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome – The carpal tunnel is a fibrous sheath in the wrist where tendons and nerves run through, which can become tight or swollen. This can lead to tingling or numbness in the first 3 fingers, especially at night-time. This may be caused by repetitive actions.
Symptoms associated with these kinds of problems may include:
- numbness, tingling or pins and needles in one or all of the fingers
- swelling of the hand
- pain in the neck and shoulder area
- sharp shooting pain in the arm or hand
- difficulty using fingers for precise or fine movements.
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