Finger numbness begins to disturb the patients when it becomes persistent and is accompanied by other unpleasant sensations in the wrists or in the entire upper limb. Quite often, finger numbness is accompanied by headaches, dizziness and loss of consciousness.
Vertebroneurologists of the Clinic of Dr. Ignatieff in Boston believe that finger numbness is an alarming sign that there are serious abnormalities related to the state of the spine. Any concerns about this should encourage the patient to seek medical help. The experienced specialists of the clinic are receiving patients on a daily basis, after prior appointment.
1Causes of finger numbness
Finger numbness may be caused by one of the following reasons:
- The pathology of the cervical region of the vertebral column, or, to be more exact, osteochondrosis of the lower-cervical region. That is where the compression of the nerve roots and blood vessels located on either side of the spine is formed due to dystrophic and degenerative changes in the vertebrae and joints. Moreover, the degeneration of the vertebral body is usually manifested in the form of osteophytes – bone spurs, which causes compression. More severe symptoms appear during protrusion and hernia of intervertebral discs in this area. However, finger numbness also takes place at the time.
- Overloading the muscle fibers of the cervical region – for example, in an uncomfortable position during sleep, the wrong position of the head and neck while working at a desk. This leads to a strong muscle spasm and compression of nerve fibers, extending in the immediate vicinity of this area.
- Obstruction of permeability of vessels of vertebral arteries due to their compression because of protrusion, disc herniation or osteophytes, as well as a result of the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the vascular wall, during thromboembolism and other dangerous situations. Typically, at this conditions finger numbness indicates obstruction of cerebral circulation and can precede a stroke.
- Severe stress or prolonged emotional distress can also cause finger numbness
2Diagnosis of pathological disorders
It is understandable that the doctor should make every effort to determine why the hand is getting numb and exclude severe ischemic attacks or prevent their development. There are various diagnostic methods for this purpose, the most important of which are:
- X-ray of the cervical vertebral column – images must be taken in several projections to identify the localization of the compression zone of vessels and nerves;
- Examination of vascular permeability – doppler sonography of neck and spine arteries;
- Magnetic resonance angiography – examination of the brain blood vessels and vertebrobasilar zone;
- Computer and magnetic resonance imaging of the spine in the neck area and also imaging of the brain;
- Echoencephalography and other methods.
Only after the exclusion of the pathology of the central nervous system, one can start a detailed diagnosis of disorders in the upper extremities, particularly, fingers.
Fingers numbness due to a cervical osteochondrosis.
3Treatment of finger numbness
Numbness, tingling, burning, pins and needles in the fingers – is, in fact, the phenomenon of paresthesia or skin sensitivity disorder which appears due to compression of the nerve roots in the neck area. Therefore, the main therapeutic measures should be the elimination of the compression.
The treatment methods are as follows:
- Drug treatment – removal of the inflammatory edema, pain and muscle spasm decrease, improvement of microvasculature functioning, excretion of harmful products of pathological metabolism;
- General treatment may also include vitamins, minerals and cartilage protectors which affect normal trophism of the innervated areas and the very focus of pathology.
- Local impact – one of the most effective ways of treatment is manual therapy. Manual techniques help quickly eliminate muscle spasm and swelling in the area of degeneration, improve trophism and restore movement in the joints of the spine. All of this contributes to the improvement of strength in the hands, wrists and fingers, and elimination of symptoms of paresthesia.
- Therapeutic exercises let you quickly eliminate finger numbness, because active muscle contractions contribute to the full functioning of the vessels of peripheral vascular bed.
- Physical therapy – magnetic therapy, laser treatment, sonication and other methods have a stimulating effect on tissue regeneration and blood flow.
- Acupuncture, hirudotherapy, vacuum therapy and other methods of alternative medicine increase the effect of other types of treatment.
Doctors of Boston “Clinic Dr. Ignatieff” are considering finger numbness as a distinct signal of a more serious pathology, which requires close attention of physicians and the patient himself. Only the timely actions help prevent serious consequences of pathological disorders.