Symptoms of finger numbness should not be ignored. Numbness in the fingers can be a sign of a serious medical condition. From typing to writing, decreased feeling in the fingers affects a person's ability to perform everyday tasks. Additional symptoms include numbness in the hand, tingling, burning and a "pins and needles" sensation. A person experiencing lack of sensation in the fingers should seek medical attention to identify underlying conditions. Emergency treatment is suggested if the numbness begins to travel up the arm, and is accompanied by paralysis and confusion, advises MayoClinic.com. These are symptoms of a stroke and require immediate medical intervention.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, causes numbing and tingling in the fingers, as well as in the feet. The blood vessels attached to the nerves in the hands and feet of a person with diabetes are damaged by increased blood sugar. The damage occurs over time as diabetes progresses. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage, though damage may affect any part of the body. Additional symptoms of neuropathy include the hands feeling extremely hot or cold, or the sensation of wearing gloves. Managing blood glucose levels is key to preventing neuropathy, or to keep it from growing worse, reports the American Diabetes Association.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome, often linked to extensive typing on a keyboard, is a common condition associated with finger numbness. The carpal tunnel is a tube-like structure located along the palm side of the wrist. The tube holds and protects the main nerve leading to the hand and the associated tendons. Pressure placed on the nerve produces symptoms, such as finger numbness, commonly linked with carpal tunnel syndrome. MayoClinic.com reports that numbness associated with the condition is often felt in the thumb, index and middle fingers. The pinky finger is rarely affected. A person commonly senses the finger numbness while driving, holding a book or newspaper or after sleeping. Additional symptoms include radiating pain and general weakness in the hands.
A broken finger causes numbness as well as swelling, tenderness and inability to move the finger. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises that a fractured finger is not a minor injury; not receiving proper treatment may lead to serious complications. A finger fracture takes roughly six to eight weeks to heal. Treatment includes an X-ray, as well as a splint to keep the fractured finger aligned properly. Severe finger fractures require surgery; pins and screws hold the bones in place.