Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why am I experiencing numbness in my finger?"
My first/pointer finger on the left side keeps going numb from time to time. Why would this happen? Is it possible that I have a pinched nerve in my arm that is making my finger numb?
You certainly could be having a pinched nerve syndrome. It is somewhat unusual, though, to have just one finger going numb. I would expect your thumb, middle and index finger to all be affected, not just your index finger. That said, the nerves of the upper extremities come out of the spinal cord on the neck and travel through tight spaces with several potential locations where a nerve could be trapped or pinched. In the thoracic in-let which is where the nerve bundles exit the neck is a common area to have the brachial plexus nerve to get trapped. This is also known as thoracic outlet syndrome. The treatment for this condition is usually physical therapy. A physical therapist who is familiar with this condition will be able to advise you on different stretching and strengthening techniques. The nerves also travel in a tight space at the elbow and at the wrist (carpel tunnel syndrome), putting it at risk for injury. The treatment for true thoracic outlet syndrome after a failed trial of physical therapy is usually a first rib resection. This helps to open up the space for the neurovascular bundle as it goes through the neck. If it is determined that you have a localized compression in your wrist, then opening up the fascia would give you much needed relief. You should see a primary care physician to be examined and to potentially start treatment soon.
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