Numb pinky fingers are quite common when an ulnar nerve in your arms gets trapped. Ulnar nerve controls the sensation of the pinky, ring fingers and part of your palms. This can be experienced in day-to-day situations, while at work, in a car or during sports. Are you having this sensation right now, too? Let me share some important points about it.
What is ulnar nerve?
Ulnar nerve runs through your arms and controls the sensation in part of your hand and fingers. It is especially vulnerable in the area behind the elbow where it can get easily pinched. If you ever felt the sudden pins and needles in fingers by hitting your elbow, then you hit this nerve. This is also called funny bone sensation and usually goes away within few minutes.
Causes of numbness in fingers.
Loss of feeling in fingers is one of the signs of nerve entrapment. This can be caused by pressing the nerve against a table when resting or sitting improperly in front of computer, cyst formation, previous elbow fractures or current injury. This can last from minutes up to weeks, depending on seriousness of the cause. The best option is to visit your doctor if the numbness stays for more than several days.
Signs of nerve entrapment.
There are several symptoms, including loss of feeling in little fingers such as pinky and ring finger. Part of your hand might also get numb, too. The numbness gets stronger while an elbow is bent. When the arm is straight, the loss of feeling seems to be lesser intense.
Trapped nerve prevention and treatment.
Minor injuries of elbow are usually followed by swelling which blocks and traps the nerve against the bone. Your doctor will recommend non-surgical treatment for lesser serious injuries. If the injury is acute, this treatment will follow by surgical. This means you will have to go to a hospital to have it fixed.
The best advice for treatment to start with is to keep your arm in a straight position all the time. Do not rest your head on your elbow while working behind the desk or while driving your car. If you do not have proper medical equipment to keep your arm straight, just use a towel. Wrap the towel around your arm, which will prevent it from bending. Keep this on especially while sleeping when you consciously cannot prevent the bending.
If the injury is more serious, then try a combination of medicine helping to relief pain and inflammation. Include stretching exercises, too. I would recommend using Ibuprofen gel. Consult your doctor prior to use to make sure this is right for you. If it is ok, this can be found in most of the supermarkets around you. Buy a gel and rub it straight on the swollen place.
I got swollen elbows many times while practicing sports. First it really scared me because sudden loss of ability to feel the tips of my fingers is a scary experience. Nowadays, I am more relaxed about this topic because I constantly learn how to prevent and treat it. I hope this article gives you some good ideas, which will help you to find your way to avoid or treat these injuries, too.