What Causes Tingling in My Fingers?

There are a number of conditions that can cause tingling in your fingers, which is known as peripheral neuropathy or damage to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). According to the Neuropathy Association's report, around 20 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy. In this article we will help ease your mind by addressing the various conditions that can cause tingling in your fingers, as well as what you should do if you experience it on a regular basis.

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

The PNS is an interconnected body of nerves present in your body. These sensory nerves carry information throughout the body. Tingling in such areas as your fingers and feet will occur when these sensory nerves are damaged. This damage may be temporary or permanent. Temporary impairment of the sensory nerves occurs when you accidently pinch a nerve. This can take place during sleep by simply lying on your wrist. The nerve discomfort will disappear as soon as pressure has been relieved from the specific anatomical area. When this tingling is accompanied by numbness in the hands or feet then more serious damage may have occurred to the PNS. In order to avoid potential permanent damage, consult a health professional.

Gullain-Barre Syndrome is an extremely rare cause of finger tingling. It manifests when the body's immune system attacks the Peripheral Nervous System. The first symptom of this extremely serious disorder is a tingling and weakness in your feet that may progress to infect your entire body. Though the symptoms of this disorder may be dire, the actual recovery time can be quite quick, with some individuals recovering in less than a week. On the other end of the spectrum, complete recovery may not be achieved until a few years have passed.

Tingling Fingers Caused by Injury

When the only symptom experienced is finger tingling then an injury to a nerve will be the most likely cause. A radial, median, or ulnar nerve (hand related nerves) has been severed, crushed, compressed, or stretched through a serious trauma or over extension of the wrist or hand. If the injury is not too severe, it may remedy itself. However, if the tingling lasts for an extended duration, medical attention should be found to prevent the risk of permanent damage.

Tingling Fingers Caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When the tingling is accompanied by numbness and is centralized to the thumb, index, and middle fingers, then carpel tunnel syndrome is the likely cause. Carpel tunnel manifests when the median nerve, which is located in your forearm, is acutely compressed. At the onset of carpel tunnel syndrome, the tingling will be felt mainly at night, but as the condition develops it will be felt 24 hours a day. If the condition is not too severe then rest, compression to the infected area, and an ice pack should help relieve the pain. Medication can also be used to help relieve the symptoms associated with carpel tunnel syndrome. Vitamin B6 is not a definite avenue for the ease of symptoms, but some people have found it helpful. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to ease the associated swelling and pain of carpel tunnel. Extremely severe cases of carpal tunnel require surgical intervention to ease the pressure on the median nerve by severing the tissue surrounding the wrist.

Tingling Fingers Caused by Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that infects the central nervous system. Our nerves are coated with myelin. MS targets this myelin. This attack causes scar tissue to form, which alters the messages sent to the brain. Finger tingling will coincide with a general weakness and fatigue, dizziness, and numbness. If you experience prolonged numbness in your feet and hands before the onset of tingling then it is advisable that you visit a health professional immediately. Numbness is typically the first sign of MS. The typical age bracket for the onset of MS is between 20 to 50 years of age, with women 2 to 3 times more susceptible. While MS currently has no cure, there are medications to dull the symptoms and slow disease progression.

Other Causes of Tingling in Fingers

  • Environmental: Heavy metal poisoning can cause tingling in your fingers. This can occur when an individual is exposed to a heavy metal for an extended period of time.
  • Human Action: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and coffee and smoking can cause a tingling sensation.
  • A Vitamin Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamins B, E, and niacin can cause a host of symptoms including tingling in your fingers.
  • Psychological: A panic attack can manifest in finger tingling as well as shortness of breath, extreme fear, and a pale complexion.

Tingling in your fingers can be a weird and sometimes worrisome occurrence, especially when accompanied by other detrimental symptoms. If upon reading this article you still don't know what is causing your discomfort, then seek medical attention.