ZocdocAnswersI have numbness and strange pain in the right hand ring finger. What could it be?

Question

I have numbness and strange pain in the right hand ring finger. What could it be?

I have a numbness in my right-hand ring finger, and a pain in my left arm (near the elbow, side closest to my body). This has been occurring for around 36 hours. What could it be, and should I be worried? Concerned over the fact that it's different sides. Thanks.

Answer

There can be many causes for numbness and tingling in the arm or fingers. A physical examination by your doctor will be able to further diagnose the problem that is causing the tingling in the right finger, and the pain in the left arm. One common cause of tingling or numbness in the fingers is a compression of a nerve, which can occur at the level of the neck, arm, elbow, wrist or finger. One commonly known syndrome is medial nerve entrapment, also known as carpal tunnel syndrome. This nerve is on the side of the hand that the thumb is on. Similarly, the ulnar nerve, on the pinkie side of the hand, can also be compressed most often when a job or activity entails typing or placing pressure on the elbows or wrists, such as typing or using a mouse. A tight ring or hairband constantly worn around the finger or wrist, respectively, also has the potential to cause nerve compression. There are other causes of nerve symptoms which are not caused by pressure, for example, pregnancy and hypothyroidism. You should see your doctor to be evaluated for the pain that you are experiencing in the left arm. Pain has many causes from benign to worrisome, and a thoughtful interview by your doctor and a directed physical examination are the first steps in diagnosing what may be wrong.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.