At some point, you will most likely injure one or more of your fingers. Even if you have not broken your pinky finger, you may still experience pain or numbness after hitting it. The sensation is similar to when you hit your funny bone. Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about this experience.
When you have actually hurt your pinky finger, it is pretty easy to figure out why you are in pain. When the pain or numbness happens for no reason, you may become concerned. While you may have just slept on your hand, it is worrisome if the numbness does not go away. There are several different reasons why you may experience numbness in your pinky finger.
Why Does Numbness in Pinky Finger Happen?
If you experience temporary tingling and numbness, it is probably not a sign of anything that you need to worry about. It may just be due to the way you touched or used your finger, hand or arm. If the numbness does not go away, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Diabetes can occasionally cause numbness in your pinky finger. More often, it can cause numbness in your legs and your other extremities. One of the common complications of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy. This condition is caused by poor blood circulation or long-term, elevated blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, both of these problems are common in diabetics. When you have diabetic neuropathy, it can cause your feet or hands to go numb. Your nerve structures become damaged, which is why you experience numbness.
2. Guyon’s Canal Syndrome
This is a medical condition that develops when your ulnar nerve becomes compressed. The ulnar nerve is located within a tunnel in your wrist that is known as the Guyon canal. This nerve then runs up to your elbow and up to the neck. It connects to both your pinky and ring fingers.
Guyon’s canal syndrome can happen for a number of reasons. It can be due to tumors or a muscular anomaly in your wrist. It may develop from overusing the wrist, especially from activities that involve repetitive movements. You may develop Guyon’s canal syndrome because of blood clots in the ulnar artery, a ganglion cyst or arthritis of the wrist. It can also occur due to a severe or a repetitive injury to the wrist.
When you have this syndrome, you may notice a pins and needles sensation in both your pinky and ring fingers. It may feel like tingling at first. Before long, you may feel a burning sensation in your hand and wrist. The pain may make you especially clumsy with that hand.
Luckily, Guyon’s canal syndrome can be treated. Initially, your doctor may recommend an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to help with the inflammation and pain. In severe cases, he or she may perform a surgery. This surgery involves making an incision within the palm of your hand in order to reduce the pressure on the ulnar nerve.
3. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
This condition is what happens when extra pressure is placed on your ulnar nerve. It commonly develops if you often lean on your elbow on a hard surface or bend your elbow for an extended period of time. Because many people sleep with a hand tucked under their pillow, it may happen after a night of rest. It can also happen when the elbow bone grows abnormally or when there is intense activity that affects your ulnar nerve.
When you have this syndrome, you may develop symptoms like numbness or pain in your elbow. You may experience tingling or weakness in your ring and pinky fingers. You may have problems gripping or pinching with the pinky and thumb. Your hand muscles may atrophy or you may develop claw-like hands.
Your doctor will typically diagnose this with a physical exam or a nerve conduction study. Afterward, treatments like wearing an elbow pad during exercise or wearing a splint when you sleep may be used. Your doctor will probably recommend that you avoid adding pressure to the nerve. In severe cases, a surgical intervention may be recommended.
When you have a stroke, a blood clot or similar damage causes blood flow to drop to the brain. This causes you to have a stroke. Common symptoms of a stroke in the early stages include having tingling or numbness in your extremities or on one side of your body. If you believe that you could be having a stroke, it is important to seek medical care immediately to prevent further complications.
5. Digital Nerve Injury
A serious hand injury can affect the nerves where the injury took place. The small nerves along the pinky finger are very easy to injure or cut. For the feeling in your pinky finger to be restored, you may need to have surgery to repair the damaged nerve.
When you first experience numbness in your pinky, you may automatically assume that you are having symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Most likely, this is not the case. The carpal tunnel contains the median nerve that runs along the palm side of your wrist. When this nerve becomes compressed, you experience the weakness, pain, tingling and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are experiencing numbness in the pinky finger, you do not have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the first three nerves on your hand, but never the pinky.