Treatment for finger numbness without surgery

(Last Updated: Dec 19, 2007)

Numbness in the fingers can develop as a result of any number of factors, and you should not simply assume that it is a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome, unless you have good reason to do so. Carpal tunnel syndrome is basically a condition in which the median nerve, which runs through a canal in the wrist, gets compressed. As a result, the person starts to experience numbness and weakness in the hand, along with a tingling, burning sensation. Even here, a variety of factors can be at play - forceful and repetitive use of the hands, such as that associated with computer use, is often blamed for carpal tunnel syndrome, but a clear and indisputable link between the two has not yet been established. In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is described as idiopathic - which means that it has no known cause. In fact, carpal tunnel syndrome is often thought to be genetic.

Proper diagnosis of numbness and pain in the hands is quite difficult - very often carpal tunnel syndrome is misdiagnosed, and at the same time other conditions are misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain is not an important symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome, and therefore, if you have been experiencing a lot of pain, you can probably rule out this condition. Numbness and tingling are the main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. In any case, you need not worry about surgery yet. The simplest and most effective treatment in many cases is a wrist splint - a contraption that keeps the wrist straight, particularly at night. Most people tend to bend their wrists when they sleep, and this compresses the median nerve further. Wrist splints prevent this compression, and are therefore an important part of managing carpal tunnel syndrome. For the same reason, you should also analyze your movements, especially repetitive tasks, such as typing, or any other work you may do with your hands. The position of your hands during these activities may be a contributing factor that can be eliminated.

It is however advisable that you consult a doctor before taking any action. A proper diagnosis will save time and allow you to treat your condition promptly and more effectively. Diabetic neuropathy, alcoholic neuropathy, and a variety of conditions involving nerve damage can cause numbness and pain in the hands. You might end up wasting time on the wrong treatment if you attempt to handle the problem yourself.

answered by G M

Carpal tunnel syndrome visualizes several symptoms, which remain unidentified. Subtle symptoms result in its non-recognition.

Numbness in the hands and fingers, accompanied by a tingling sensation are typical symptoms. Numbness of hands and fingers are generally mistaken to be a result of improper sleep position, thereby causing a blockage in circulation. Frequent interruption in sleep is associated with carpal tunnel.

Other symptoms include weakness of the hands, improper motor skills, shoulder and neck pain, inability to have a grip on things, dropping objects, numbness of hands on waking up, cold arms and radiation of pain to the upper arms. Combination of any of these symptoms calls for an immediate visit to the physician. Recovery is faster, based on the time of identification or diagnosis and treatment undergone. Avoid foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, cow's milk and so on. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in pregnancy, due to the compression of the nerves. It is generally seen in the middle finger, thumb and index finger. Keep shifting your sleeping position. Avoid jobs that involve regular working with your hands. Keep your hands in an elevated position and try shaking them frequently, to reduce numbness.

Operation involves a simple procedure of adjusting the carpal ligament. A wrist splint also proves beneficial. Supplementation of pyridoxine seems to help. A healthy and balanced meal is an effective remedy.

answered by Dr C

Warning: does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
Read more questions in Health Advice