feels like needle poking my finger

Written by Dr.Bayat
Associate Professor of Orthopedic expert,Brigham Hostpital

 

It must have happened to all of you that you often have tingling in your fingertips, which is called neuropathy among medical staff.

Although most of these needle poking sensations are transient and happen when slight pressure stimulates nerves, they are gone as the stress is eliminated.

For example, if you sleep on your hands and arms for a long time, cross your legs, or sit on all fours for a long time, you may experience some needle poking your hands or feet.

But is the only reason for the tingling of the fingers this temporary pressure on the nerves?

No!

Tingling in the hands, feet, and fingers can accompany burning, itching, numbness, and pain, which may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy.

Neuropathy is a disorder and damage to the nerve, and peripheral neuropathy refers to the presence of nerve damage outside the brain and spinal cord.

 Till now, there are more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy. A detailed description of these causes is beyond this article, but I will try to name some important and common causes.

 

 

marsoclinic

 

Causes of tingling and needle-like feeling in the fingers

Let's take a look at the causes of tingling in the fingers:

 

Cervical discopathy

Diabetes

Nerve impingement syndromes

Vitamin deficiency

Alcohol

Viruses and infectious agents

Poisonings and toxins

Medicines

Autoimmune disorders

Hereditary disorders

Hypothyroidism

Other less common causes

 

  • Cervical discopathy:

If you feel numbness in some of your fingers and feel normal in others, nerve pressure is most likely the cause of your problem.

One of the most common sites of this pressure originates from the neck through disk disease.

Discopathy is any disease that puts pressure on nerves that exit the spinal canal.

In this disease, pain and needle-like feeling sometimes but not always may present from neck to the fingertips.

If your needle-like pain exacerbates in the nighttime, mainly your problem is caused by pressure on nerves.

 

  • Diabetes:

If you are looking for the most common cause of peripheral neuropathies that lead to persistent and chronic tingling of the hands, feet, and fingers, you should know that diabetes is a common cause.

Thirty percent of cases of tingling in the fingers and toes are related directly or indirectly to diabetic neuropathy.

Despite cervical discopathy mentioned above, diabetes can cause damage to nerves without any pressure and causes neuropathy in the legs, arms, digestive system, stomach, thighs, buttocks, and head.

The pattern of neuropathy caused by diabetes is called stocking-glove neuropathy.

As the name indicates, the needle-like feeling in diabetes-induced neuropathy presents mainly in areas covered by stockings and gloves.

Regular blood sugar control slows the progression of peripheral neuropathy in diabetes.

 

  • Nerve impingement syndromes:

Nerve fibers can get stuck in certain canals and areas, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in the nerve pathway.

The wrist and elbow are two common sites of nerve entrapment that can cause a needle-like feeling in fingertips, where median and ulnar nerves become caught, respectively.

 

Median nerve entrapment or carpal tunnel syndrome; CTS:

Trap and pressure on the median nerve in the wrist cause carpal tunnel syndrome, the most common type of peripheral nerve impingement syndrome.

This syndrome has tingling and pain from the wrist to the fingertips.

There is pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger on the palm. This complication gets worse at night.

 

Ulnar nerve entrapment of tardy ulnar palsy (TUP):

Another site for nerve entrapment outside the spinal canal is around the elbow area, where the Ulnar nerve gets caught by ligaments and becomes injured.

In this circumstance, the pain and needle-like feeling is felt on tiny fingers.

The ulnar nerve passes through the inner side of the elbow and passes through the inside of the wrist through Guyon’s canal.

 

  • Vitamin deficiency:

There are two primary types of vitamins; water-soluble and fat-soluble. Both types play a crucial role in the normal function and repair of nerves.

Deficiency of B1, B6, B12, and B3 vitamins, which are water-soluble, and vitamin A which is fat soluble, may cause damage to nerves and lead to neuropathy.

Besides the fact that vitamin deficiency will cause neuropathy, on the other hand, excessive intake of vitamins will cause vitamin toxicity and sometimes neuropathy.

Taking too much vitamin B6 can be associated with tingling in the fingers and needle-like feeling because of neuropathy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a well-known cause of neuropathy. This neuropathy is almost always accompanied by loss of blood formation and anemia. Thus, if someone feels a needle poking their hands and suffers from low blood cells and anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency should be tested carefully.

 

  • Alcohol:

Alcoholics are very prone to vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency.

Alcoholics who drink alcohol for a long time will suffer from alcohol-induced neuropathy and tingling in the fingers due to thiamine or B1 vitamin deficiency.

 

  • Viruses and infectious agents:

Yes, tingling in fingers can be the result of an infectious agent.

Finger tingling can occur in Lyme disease and infection with Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV), Cytomegalovirus CMV infection, HIV, EBV, and herpes simplex.

It is very uncommon for this infection to express itself solely by needle-like sensation in the hands, but it can happen.

 

  • Poisonings and toxins:

Poisoning by:

  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Thallium

 

  • Medicines:

If you read the data attached to medications that your physician prescribes, you may find neuropathy as a common adverse effect accompanied by therapeutic effects of the drug.

In some medications that are listed below, the rate of producing neuropathy is higher than in others:

  • Colchicine
  • Chloroquine
  • dapsone
  • ethambutol
  • Some antibiotics
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Linezolid

 Some chemotherapy drugs:

  • Cytarabine
  • Bortezomib
  • Cisplatin
  • Oxaliplatin

 

Some antiviruses:

  • Lamivudine

 

Cardiac drugs:

  • Digoxin
  • Statins: Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin
  • Amiodarone

And some others:

  • Levodopa
  • Lithium
  • Cimetidine
  • Phenytoin
  • Metronidazole

 

  • Autoimmune disorders:
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome

 

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

 

  • Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can cause a needle-like feeling in the fingertips by two common mechanisms. It can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, puts pressure on the median nerve, and produces a tingling sensation on the thumb, index, and middle finger.

Hypothyroidism may cause neuropathy because thyroid hormones are essential in the normal nerve cells' normal function of nerves and proper regeneration capability.

 

  • Multiple sclerosis or MS:

MS is one of the most frightening causes of abnormal feelings and sensations across our bodies.

The numbness or needle-like feeling in MS looks like what is seen in cervical discopathy. Therefore it needs a very detailed examination to discover the actual cause of the altered sensation.

 

  • Other less common causes

Seizures

Strokes

Insect bites

Skin problems

Animal bites

Narrowing the blood vessels in the fingers and toes can also be causes tingling in the fingers, a phenomenon called Raynaud syndrome.

 

Diagnosis of different causes of this type of disease:

As you see, there are other causes for feeling needle-like sensations in the fingertips. Still, this problem can be solved by obtaining an accurate history and asking about the history of drugs used and underlying diseases and with the help of paraclinical methods of diagnostic assistance such as:

 

  • Laboratory blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, hypothyroidism, HIV infection, and...
  • Perform NCV and EMG, Which determine the conduction velocity of the nerve and the electrical activity of the muscle
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Nerve biopsy

 

We remind you that tingling and numbness of parts of the body may be the first manifestations of MS, so if you frequently suffer from tingling of the limbs without any background disorder and pressure on any part of your body, be sure to See your doctor for additional tests.

Here you can find some clues to find out the most probable causes for your needle-like feeling in your fingertips:

  • If you have pain around your neck and shoulder beside a needle-like feeling, you may have cervical discopathy.
  • If you have numbness and pain associated with the needle, like feeling just in the thumb, index, and middle finger, then you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • If this niggling feeling senses only on the small finger, the pressure on your Ulnar nerve around the elbow beside cervical discopathy is the most relative diagnosis.
  • If your problem is accompanied by blood test anemia and decreased RBC, then vitamin B12 deficiency should be considered as the cause.

 

 How to get rid of needle-like feeling in fingertips

Treatment depends on the cause of peripheral neuropathy.

If the compressive causes become diagnosed in the early stages before permanent problems happen, then all the needle-like feelings will go entirely without any long-term complications.

It means that underlying condition like cervical discopathy, Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and Tardy Ulnar nerve palsy benefits most from early diagnosis and treatment.

On the other hand, if your problem is caused by other systematic issues like diabetes or hypothyroidism, the neuropathy may not resolve entirely even by proper treatment, and it may resist to some extent.

You can use the following to reduce the pain of peripheral neuropathy that leads to tingling in the fingers:

  • Massage
  • Hot compresses
  • Physical mobility

Increased blood flow helps reduce pain and tingling in the fingers.

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Be sure to check your blood sugar under the supervision of a doctor.
  • If a doctor prescribes, do not neglect the injection of vitamin B12 and use supplements containing vitamin B in appropriate doses.
  • Because of altered sensation, be careful about your hands. It is common to injure your hand without any awareness during daily living.

 

Written by Dr.Bayat
Associate Professor of Orthopedic expert,Brigham Hostpital

 

References

  • Winzeler, B. et al. Arginine-stimulated copeptin measurements in the differential diagnosis of diabetes insipidus: a prospective diagnostic study.

  • Saito I, Ito K, Saruta T. Hypothyroidism as a cause of hypertension.

  • Benvenga S, Bartolone L, Squadrito S, Lo Giudice F, Trimarchi F (1995) Delayed intestinal absorption of levothyroxine.

  • Cadavid D, Wolansky LJ, Skurnick J, et al. Efficacy of treatment of MS with IFNbeta-1b or glatiramer acetate by monthly brain MRI in the BECOME study.

  • Polman CH, O’Connor PW, Havrdova E, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of natalizumab for relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Latest articles

...

submandibular gland swollen and painful

Have you ever heard the term sialadenitis? If you have recently noticed swelling of the submandibular glands, if you are looking for possible causes of swelling of the submandibular glands, read the following. Salivary gland swelling is called sialadenitis by doctors. Salivary gland secretions are necessary to moisten the mouth and throat and start digesting food.

...

sudden feeling of passing out anxiety

If you have experienced sudden stress and anxiety, if you want to know the causes of sudden filling out passing anxiety, Read more Often dizziness is associated with anxiety under the following headings Wooziness Light headedness

...

how get smell back after covid

How to restore a disturbed sense of smell following Covid19? Is there a way to speed up the olfactory recovery following Covid19? What are the ways to restore the sense of smell following Covid19? If you are one of those people who suffer from a sense of smell following a new coronavirus infection and are looking for a way to restore your sense of smell, read on.

...

Signs of a blood clotting disorder

If you want to know what signs and symptoms are associated with blood clots If you want to get acquainted with the signs and symptoms of blood clots. Read more What is a blood clot? What are the symptoms of a blood clot? What are the risks of a blood clot? What are the possible side effects of blood clots in the body? Why do blood clots form? Blood clots can be a sign and a symptom of what disorder and disease.

...

Sharp pulling pain in belly button

If you have sharp pain around the umbilicus (pre-umbilical). Read more. What causes sharp and pulling-like pain around the belly button?

share this content in :
Address: 393 University Avenue,Suite 200,Toronto ON MG5 2M2,CANADA
Email: info@MarsoClinic.com

Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

Terms of Use
-->

Our company

Advisory board
Safety
Advisory board
About

Our products

Your Healthy Gut
Food intolerance
Constipation
View All

Community

Your Healthy Gut
Food intolerance
Constipation
View All

Legal

Your Healthy Gut
Food intolerance
Constipation
View All
logo-1 logo-2 logo-3 logo-foot  logo-4 logo-5 logo-6

Address: 393 University Avenue,Suite 200,Toronto ON MG5 2M2,CANADA

Email: info@MarsoClinic.com

Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

Terms of Use