Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do my fingertips get numb or hurt?"
My arm or fingertips get really bad cramps or numb and is starting to bother me from writing
Your symptoms sound like they must be quite bothersome, especially when trying to do your day to day activities. The best place to start is with your primary care physician. He or she can go over your current symptoms and do a physical exam to begin the process of identifying what might be causing your symptoms. It is important to be seen by a physician in this setting because there are many things that can cause muscle cramps or neuropathy (nerve irritation that can cause the numbness you are experiencing), and identifying the cause in your case will depend upon factors such as your age, health history, medications, and daily activities. Depending upon what your physician notices on exam, he or she may want to refer you for additional testing, possibly imaging studies or a study designed to monitor nerve function. One possible diagnosis is carpal tunnel syndrome, as this can lead to irritation similar to what you are describing in people who participate in an activity that causes repetitive stress on the wrist. It is also possible that pain or numbness in the hand can be caused by a problem with the elbow or even shoulder, so it is important to start with a good physical exam. Hopefully with the right diagnosis you can be directed towards the right therapy, whether that involves medication, physical therapy, some sort of brace/splint, or even a referral to an orthopedic specialist.
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