Numb fingers could be simply the reaction to cold temperature, a temporary discomfort caused by the circulation blockade, due to a hand position and pressure or a sign of some underlying cause. Typical cause of finger numbness is nerve compression, which may occur pretty often, but it is harmless. The sensation we normally got in our fingers is of a vital importance for a normal life; it allows us to act intuitive, without paying special attention to our fingers. If the sensation is regular, we are able to perform all of our usual daily routine practices, without deep thinking of it. Finger sensation protects us from injuries, burn and other possible damages.
Finger numbness could be a symptom of a condition that requires further examination and treatment. Pinky finger numbness is associated with specific nerves, so it is best to see your doctor to determine the initial cause of numbness. It might not be a serious problem, but it could also indicate some underlying medical condition.
Causes of pinky finger numbness
Funny tingling sensation that runs down the arm to the little pinky finger is a phenomenon that nearly every person have experienced at least once in their life. The sensation isn’t particularly strong and it usually withdraws spontaneously and rapidly. People usually take it for granted and forget about it as soon as it ceases. It could be a side effect of an injury, so we just ascribe it to other complications caused by an injury. It normally occurs if we sleep on the hand, causing the nerve compression, so our arm and fingers get numb.
However, it may appear spontaneously, without any obvious cause. If it goes away, it usually isn’t a reason to worry. However, it might not cease and go away. You may wonder if the condition is dangerous. Here are some of the causes of the prolonged and constant numbness in pinky finger.
Nerve damage causes
Different types of compressions or injuries within hands and wrists may cause the constant sensation of tingling and numbness in pinky fingers. There are sensitive nerves that get easily affected by particular activities or damage.
The following causes are the most likely to cause the numbness of pinky fingers.
Cubital tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy is a condition caused by a particular nerve compression; ulnar nerve pressure. The ulnar nerve is located near the skin surface, located at the area of so called funny bone. The syndrome is a result of frequent or constant pressure of ulnar nerve; leaning against elbows, excessive extension of elbows or such. If you have a habit of tucking your elbows beneath a pillow while sleeping, you may have put an extra and prolonged pressure on ulnar nerves and might get the cubital nerve syndrome, so your pinky finger remains numb.
Symptoms that might indicate you suffer from ulnar neuropathy include numbness and pain of the elbow, tingling sensations in pinky finger, weakness and difficulties with pinching the pinky finger and thumb, weakness or atrophy of hand muscles, strange claw like position of hands, decreased hand grip.
The cubital nerve syndrome could be treated with physical therapies, if the condition is mild. Those may include using the elbow pad, wearing an elbow splint to prevent bending elbows while sleeping and simply avoiding any pressure against the elbow. Severe cases do require a surgical procedure, meant to relieve the pressure if the previous treatments prove ineffective. These interventions are not complicated and most of patients respond very well to them.
Guyon’s canal syndrome
This condition is also associated with the ulnar nerve. It occurs if the nerve gets compressed in a different location than the cubital canal, the one called Guyon’s canal. Different actions and underlying conditions may cause the syndrome. It could occur due to excessive use of the wrist, such as excessive flexing activities, arthritis, tumors, ganglion cyst, muscle degenerations and frequent or severe wrist damage.
Signs that may indicate you suffer from Guyon’s canal syndrome include tingling, pinning and other uncomfortable sensations in pinky fingers and the ring, burning sensation within wrists and hands, followed by numbness and clumsiness of hands. Since this is a type of inflammation, it could be treated with OTC pain relievers. However, if the sensations won’t cease, the condition might require a surgical procedure, in order to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
Digital nerve injuries
Sometimes, the constant numbness people sense in pinky finger may occur due to a severe hand injury or cuts that affect tiny nerves in the finger. Since those nerves are extremely small, there is no other way than surgical procedure to restore the normal sensation.
Underlying medical causes
There are certain medical conditions and diseases that may also cause the strange numbness and tingling in pinky fingers to occur. It is very important to act in time and determine the initial cause, since pinky fingers numbness might indicate a serious health condition that requires a proper and long term treatment.
Diabetic neuropathy is not so common condition, but it might explain the strange tingling sensation and numbness in pinky fingers, if no other cause is found. Elevated blood sugar level and poor blood flow, which are common accompanists of diabetes, may cause diabetic neuropathy. If the condition isn’t properly treated, the numbness may spread to wider area and the hands can go completely numb.
Since stroke is a result of blood vessels damage or blood clot, it is often indicated by sensation of tingling and numbness of extremities. It often occurs within fingers and spreads along one side of the body, due to decreased blood flow to the brain. Those symptoms are alarming and require immediate medical help.
Numbness in pinky finger could indicate numerous conditions, from totally harmless causes to serious, even life threatening underlying patterns. It is of a vital importance to act in time and determine what causes your pinky finger goes numb.
It is also useful to mention that the carpal tunnel syndrome does not trigger pinky fingers numbness, as many would suppose.