Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

For the last six months, I've felt a tingling sensation in my right ring and little fingers. At first it didn't bother me, but now I am having trouble with simple things like holding silverware, opening mail, and turning my key in the door. What could be causing this?

Answer:

There is a wide range of possible causes for these symptoms. Sometimes loss of circulation or pressure on the ulnar nerve as it travels down the arm from the elbow can cause the numbness, tingling, and weakness you've described. There may be a problem higher up in the neck. For example, pressure on a spinal nerve from a bulging disc can cause these symptoms. Likewise, pressure on the nerves where they travel under the collarbone or by the shoulder can result in numbness and tingling in the hands.

There may be some changes in anatomy causing this type of pressure on the nerves. Activities that repeat the same motions can lead to these symptoms. Even diabetes can affect the nerves and cause symptoms. It is best to have a doctor examine you, especially since it has been six months since the symptoms started. Early treatment may prevent long-term problems.



*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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