Q: I get frequent numbness in my fingers. Is this normal, or should I get it checked out? What could it be?
A: Certainly anyone experiencing recurrent numbness or sensory changes in any part of the body should seek medical attention. Numbness in the hands or fingers could signify nerve compression, as one sees with carpal tunnel syndrome, or nerve compression in the neck, as with a herniated disc. These symptoms also could be caused by a peripheral neuropathy, which is sometimes caused by nutritional deficiencies or exposures to some chemicals or toxins. Stroke is another possibility, which must be excluded. Evaluating these symptoms requires a thorough physical exam by your physician and possibly lab work, x-rays or other tests.
John J. Moss, MD
Northside Hospital Spine Center