Numbness in Fingertips and Toes: Causes, Treatment, Symptoms of Tingling Fingers

Numbness of Fingertips and Toes

There are times when you experience a sudden tingling, cramping and numbness in the extremities – toes, fingers and fingertips. Typically, your fingers of your hand and feet go numb or cold due to lack of blood flow to the region. Some people describe it as a burning sensation while others feel like their fingers are being pricked by pins and needles. Some of the probable causes of these symptoms are:

  • Lack of oxygen to the extremities
  • Poor potassium level
  • Caused by a musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Panic attack
  • Frostbite
  • Leprosy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lack of oxygen to the extremities, in Reynaud’s disease, diabetes etc.
  • Nerve injury
  • Blood vessel disorder in the fingertips
  • Using vibrating tools even when wearing workman’s gloves
  • Heart disorders: hypertension, high cholesterol levels
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B1, B6, B12

Signs and Symptoms of Numb Fingertips and Toes

In addition to the tingling and numb sensation in toes and fingertips , you may experience burning sensation, numbness or pricking pin sensation in various parts of your body, especially in the fingers, toes and other extremities. Here are a few more related symptoms:

  • Cramping or pain in extremities
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors usually occur in the tendons and the legs
  • Loss of sensation in the area.
  • Pain with the tingling sensation
  • Decrease in muscle tone
  • Decrease in muscle strength
  • Fingers turning white

Treating Numb Finger Tips and Toes

Here are some tips that may treat and relieve the numbness in your fingertips and toes:

  • Massaging the area promotes blood circulation thus allowing oxygen to reach the cells in the area.
  • Exercising promotes blood circulation all over the body thus increasing the need for oxygen demand.
  • Elevating the extremities promotes blood circulation.
  • Applying warm and cold compress also increases blood circulation.
  • Letting the pain subside for a few minutes can also help.
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques work as well.

Can Numbness in Fingertips be Prevented?

The following are the common methods used to prevent the numbness in the fingertips:

  • Observing proper health and nutrition.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Increasing the intake of potassium-rich food like banana and avocado.
  • Promote and observe a daily exercise routine.
  • Get good sleep and rest to avoid stress.
  • Avoid exposing yourself to extreme cold conditions. This can cause damage to the nerves and muscle tissues. It can trigger numbness and tingling sensation.
  • Increase consumption of green leafy vegetables.
Image of Number Fingertips
Numbness in Fingers

If numbness occurs frequently and is associated with extreme pain, fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath, you would need to consult a physician. These are symptoms of a severe medical condition.

When your fingers go numb and seek immediate medical attention, especially if the numbness is accompanied by any of the following:

  • Tingling sensation occurs right after a head injury or back and neck damages
  • Uncontrollable movement of the arm or leg
  • Change in vision
  • Inability to control excretory activities such as urinary and bowel functions
  • Loss of consciousness even for a brief moment
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Garbled speech
  • Total physical weakness
  • Paralysis

What is Finger Pareathesia?

Finger pareathesia (or numbness) is an abnormal sensation such as pricking pins, burning, numb feeling in the fingers.  Pareasthesia occurs due to  pressure on the nerves, entrapment of the nerves or due to nerve disease. It is important to note which fingers are affected. If first three fingers are affected, there are chances of decompression of the radial nerve. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome (there are massage techniques for carpal tunnel that help ease the pain a bit). If the last two fingers are involved, your ulnar nerve could be the cause. This can happen due pressure in the elbow region, the chest area, or the cervical spine. Vitamin B12 deficiency can give rise to numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes.
Hypo calcemia, pernicious anemia, leprosy are some other diseases that cause tingling and numbness in the finger joint.

Treatment for Pareasthesia

  1. Increase intake of potassium and calcium rich food such as bananas, avocado, and custard apple.
  2. Massage fingers in warm water.
  3. Look out for any local cause, like carpal tunnel syndrome or trauma to the finger.
  4. Consume food rich in vitamin B12 and Niacin.

What Causes Numbness in Feet and Hands

Sometimes your feet go numb and that could be due to:

  • Nerve injury
  • Holding tremendously cold matter such as a block of ice for prolonged period
  • Inactivity of the hands and fingers
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Nerve damage in the upper arm spinal cord
  • Sleeping on your hand resulting to deprivation of the hand with proper blood circulation, this can result in waking up with numb fingers.
  • Severe side effects of certain health conditions such as brain damage and heart stroke
  • Neck injury
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Diabetes
  • Tumor or certain cancer
  • Exposure to extremely cold environment resulting to frost bites

Numbness in the Big Toe

There can be many cause for the numbness in your big toe . Here’s what you need to do:

  • Assess your big toe. Try to check the integrity of the toe, whether you have a cut or sometimes a little piece of splinter that would accidentally get stuck in your toe. Sometimes these would cause the numbness.
  • Check if you have been recently been bitten. It could be a bite from an ant or some other insect. These usually would have a delayed effect like a numb feeling.
  • Check if you just had a minor incident. Wherein someone may have stepped on your foot, or you may have dropped something heavy unto it and you may have forgotten about it.
  • Assess if you have a history of arthritis, especially gouty arthritis.

Why does the Big Toe Lose Sensation or Start Tingling?

If you were to stand up or sit down, the circulation of your blood would usually be poor in the extremities particularly in the peripheral parts like your big toe. This would usually facilitate in the accumulation of whatever buildup of toxins and the like.