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Paresthesia of the fingers


Paresthesia is when the fingers lose sensitivity or when finger sensitivity is somehow altered. There may be a feeling of total insensitivity, reduced sensitivity or different sensations such as tingling. This insensitivity may have multiple causes that may originate from the nervous system (most often) or the circulatory system. When fingers become numb because of the cold, the cause is vascular. This is due to poor blood circulation in the extremities, and can be called Raynaud's phenomenon.

Main causes
The main causes of numbness or paresthesia of the fingers can be of various origins. The main ones are:
  • nerve disorders:

o Carpal tunnel syndrome, in which the compression of the median nerve at the wrist causes numbness and tingling,
o neuropathy, a major complication of diabetes,
o cervicobrachial radiculopathy (CR) due to compression of the vertebrae on the nerves, irritating the fingers;
  • vascular diseases:

o Raynaud's phenomenon, in the asphyxial phase;
o vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels.


Insensitivity of the fingers may be accompanied by a series of mild or severe symptoms. The most common are burning sensations, pain, numbness, tingling, increased sensitivity, or complete insensitivity.


Treatment is essentially to treat the cause of numbness. If it is a nervous condition, the doctor seeks to release the pressure on the nerve involved in the insensitivity of the fingers. This may be due to cervical compression or a problem in another part of the body (shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist ...). The treatment will be adapted according to the origin of the sensitivity. Similarly, if the problem is vascular, the doctor will operate to promote proper blood circulation. There are also medications such as calcium channel blockers that are used in the case Raynaud's phenomenon. Carpal tunnel syndrome is treatable by nerve decompression via a simple surgery. In the most disabling of cervico-brachial neuralgia forms, a doctor may proceed to surgery of the vertebrae.

To prevent the onset of Raynaud's phenomenon, which is induced by cold fingers, one must protect himself with gloves. In the case of nervous origin, it is more difficult to anticipate.

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