What Are the Causes of Pins & Needles in Fingers?

Written by misty witenberg
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What Are the Causes of Pins & Needles in Fingers?
That tingle may be a sign of nerve damage. (fingers image by Vonora from Fotolia.com)

Pins and needles, otherwise known as paresthesia, is a condition in which one feels abnormal nerve sensations in a particular region of the body, in this case the fingers. These sensations can feel like tingling, prickling, numbness or burning that may or may not cause pain and are most likely the result of nerve damage, whether temporary or permanent. If you suffer from chronic paresthesia of the fingers, you may have some type of damage to the nerves and should see a medical professional.

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Nerve Compression or Entrapment

This occurs when a nerve becomes trapped in a confined space due to trauma, inflammation or disease. Generally, the least serious version of this would be if you rested on your hand for too long, perhaps by falling asleep on it, and awoke with the "pins-and-needles" sensation in your fingers. Other conditions that can bring this on are bone spurs, joint swelling due to injury, or cysts.


A stroke occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen to function properly and the victim may have numbness on one side of the body, including the fingers. Other symptoms in addition to paresthesia could be sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and sever headache.


The variety of different metabolic disorders that affect the ability of the body to process and use sugar in the proper way are collectively called diabetes. Nerve damage can be a result of the disease, and although it typically occurs in the toes and feet, it can also be present in the fingers. This symptom may be accompanied by excessive thirst and urination, fatigue, weakness and blurred vision.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This condition is caused by the compression of the median nerve that runs through the wrist, which transmits sensations from the fingers and hands to the spinal cord. It usually occurs as the result of repetitive actions of the hands and wrists, which cause swelling and inflammation. This type of paresthesia is usually manifested as a burning and numbness.

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