Do you often experience a tingling or necessary sensation in your fingers? Along with pain in your arm?
Pain in the arm and numbness in fingers isn’t always a cause for concern. It may be caused by nerve damage, vitamin and nutrient deficiency.
However, there are cases where it is triggered by underlying health issues, medications, or infection.
In situations like this, it is necessary to seek proper and immediate treatment.
This condition is common in individuals of all ages but more prevalent in women and adults over the age of 50. Here is when to see a physician and what to watch out for.
Common Causes Of Right Hand Pain And Numbness In Fingers
There are various causes of pain and numbing sensation in your right hand and fingers. Common causes include;
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pain and tingling sensation in the right arm are caused by a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
It occurs when the carpal tunnel in the wrist becomes inflamed. This is when the median nerve is squeezed or compressed.
This condition affects adults of all ages but is more prevalent in people over 50. Women are also more likely to develop this condition than men.
The median nerve sends information about the sensations in your thumb and fingers back to your brain.
It also controls some muscles that move the thumb.
Pain, aches, tingling, or numbness can occur in your right arm or affected arm when this median nerve is compressed.
Factors that can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome are;
- Wrist fracture
- Chronic illness, including diabetes
- Repetitive hand motions
- Vitamin B Deficiency
Lack of nutrients often leads to weak immunity and other health issues, just as vitamin B deficiency may cause nerve damage.
Depending on the affected area, this then leads to tingling or numbness in the affected finger, leg, hands, or feet.
Restricted Blood Flow
The limited flow of blood to the right arm can also cause tingling and numbness in the area. It may be accompanied by swelling and discoloration.
There are many factors that can trigger restricted blood flow in your arms, such as sleeping postures that put pressure on the arm.
Cases like these usually have temporary symptoms that go away after removing the pressure.
Severe Side Effects Of Medications
Medications sometimes have side effects which may be mild or severe depending on the type and dosage.
However, there are some drugs that are used to treat everything from seizures to cancer, that may have side effects on the hands and feet.
These types of medications include;
- Anti-cancer drugs. Including cisplatin and vincristine.
- Blood pressure or heart drugs such as amiodarone (Nexterone) and hydralazine (Apresoline)
- Antibiotics like metronidazole (Flagyl), nitrofurantoin (Macrobid), and fluoroquinolones (Cipro).
A Heart attack occurs because of restricted blood flow from blockages. This may be because of fat, cholesterol, and other substances.
Early signs of a heart attack include sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in the arm, neck, back, jaw, or stomach, chest pain, or discomfort lasting more than a few minutes.
Women are more likely to experience symptoms of nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath.
Is it a stroke? Although it is unlikely, it is possible that your arm pain and numb fingers may be caused by a stroke.
Seek immediate attention if you experience any of these;
- Sudden issues seeing out of one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness
- Severe headache that comes on suddenly
- Dropping of face
- Sudden weakness in your arm or leg, most especially if it’s only on one side of your body
- Trouble and difficulty speaking or understanding others
Nerves transmit signals between the brain and other parts of the body.
When a nerve becomes inflamed, damaged, or compressed, it may cause tingling, numbing, and painful sensations in the affected area.
Nerve damage may be because of underlying health conditions. Other conditions that can also lead to nerve damage are:
- Physical injury
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Kidney and liver conditions
- HIV/AIDS and other infections
- Autoimmune disease like lupus
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand symmetrically.
This means that if a certain joint is affected in the left hand, it may also affect the same joint in the right hand.
Long-lasting rheumatoid arthritis can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Stage 4 HIV
HIV and AIDS are infections that damage the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of feeling in the arms and legs.
The virus associated with HIV attacks the immune system.
It can also quickly escalate without proper treatment, destroying the immune cells to an extent where the body can no longer protect itself against infections.
Symptoms are vision loss, loss of coordination, forgetfulness, weakness, headaches, trouble swallowing, confusion.
When To Worry About Arm Pain And Numbness In Fingers
Arm pain and numbness in fingers are caused by many factors, some of which are triggered by lifestyle choices and others, a case of medical health condition.
Cases of pain and numbness triggered by medical health conditions often occur with symptoms that go away after proper treatment.
However, some individuals may experience persistent symptoms that need immediate attention. Persistent symptoms that occur and are a cause for concern include;
Numbness in other parts of your body
Most cases associated with arm pain and finger numbers only have symptoms in the affected area.
However, if you experience tingling sensations or numbness that travel down to other parts of your body, consider going for a diagnosis.
Do you sometimes notice that your speech is slurred? Or do people around you point it out to you?
Some people are naturally born with conditions that affect their speech. Others imbibe this behavior while growing up, this may be because of anxiety disorders.
However, if you do not fall into any of these categories and you experience slurred speech, in addition to symptoms of tingling or numbness.
It may be a cause of concern.
Paralysis may be in one part of the body or occur as full-body paralysis.
If you suddenly experience this suddenly, consult your physician or health center for a diagnosis.
Other symptoms that are a cause of worry are:
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Treatment For Right Arm Pain And Finger Numbness
A diagnosis is required before treatment. This will help determine the cause of your numbness and the most suitable treatment for you.
An examination will be done to process your medical history and help determine your duration of numbness and associated symptoms.
Your healthcare provider might also perform several tests, such as
- Tests for vitamin levels
- CT scans of the head and spine
- MRI scans of the head and spine.
Treatment Methods Include;
For treatment, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications to reduce and relieve inflammation. This includes ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Braces or Splints
A brace or splint is another good option that helps keep your elbows and wrist in good position and posture.
It prevents and reduces the likelihood of the nerve becoming damaged or compressed.
This is only done where over-the-counter medications do not work. It involves steroid injections that help relieve inflammation.
Surgical procedures help decrease nerve damage and correct wrong positioning of the wrist, that is removing bones that press on or put pressure on the nerves.
Apply ice packs to the affected area. You can also rest your hand and wrist to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
There are simple workout routines that can be incorporated into your daily lifestyle. They can help reduce inflammation.
How To Prevent Finger Numbness
Finger Numbness mostly occurs due to overuse and strain on the nerves. Prevention includes:
- Practicing good posture at all times, when on the keyboard, using a tool or any device that can cause repetitive motion.
- Stretching the muscles to reduce tension
- Taking breaks at intervals
- Purchasing and using supportive devices when necessary.
- Sleep in a comfortable position that does not put pressure on your arms or hands.
When To See A Physician
You should contact your physician if your numbing does not go away after a few days or spreads to other parts of your body.
Go for a diagnostic if numbness or tingling starts after an injury or sprain.
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms besides the sensations.
- Trouble taking
- Vision loss
- Sudden severe headache
- Difficulty moving one or more parts of your body
Although pain and numbness may not necessarily be a cause for alarm or fear.
It is best recommended that you go for a diagnosis if you experience frequent symptoms and occurrences.
Contact your physician immediately if you notice sudden and persistent severity. You should also carry out simple preventive measures to avoid these symptoms.
Healthline: What Causes Numbness In Hands
Cleveland clinic: Numbness In Hands
Versus Arthritis: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Spine Health: What Causes Hand Pain And Numbness