Tingling in left pinkie and ring finger, sometimes spreads to hand

by Sita
(India)

Pinkie and ring finger: C8 dermatome

Pinkie and ring finger: C8 dermatome

I have tingling in my left pinkie finger and ring finger for about 3months. It is worse when I lay down at night to watch tv with my head propped up, but it is sometimes mildly there in the day. Sometimes at night it spreads to my hand and once my lower arm. There is no pain - only tingling.

Once or twice I also felt tingling in my left foot. When I did your pinched nerve test, my right lower arm hurt slightly, but my left arm and hand felt relief from the stretch.

Could this be due to something more serious than a pinched nerve? What kind of Doctor should I consult? Are there specific tests I should have done? I am concerned because every day for 3 months I feel this tingling in my left baby and ring fingers.

Thank you.

Hello Sita,
Yours is an interesting question. The the pinkie and ringer finger belong properly to the C8 dermatome, but it's significant that you make no mention of neck pain, and the stretch test is negative.

Two little tests.
1. If you turn your head to the left and look up, do you get any neck pain or tingling in your arm?

2. When the tingling is strong, place your hand on your head. Does it relieve or increase the tingling?

Let me know. What's needed Sita is a good examination, and probably some xrays of your neck, including "obliques".

Dr B

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Nov 06, 2015
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Reply to Dr. B's 2 Questions - Tingling in left pinkie and ring finger, sometimes spreads to hand
by: Sita

Dear Dr. B,

Thank you so much for answering my question and for letting me know that it is interesting, since I have no pain. I did your 2 tests. This is what happened.

1. If you turn your head to the left and look up, do you get any neck pain or tingling in your arm?

No pain at all, but it feels a little jammed and tight, on the left side of the bottom of the neck, near where the neck meets top of the shoulder. I don't feel any change in the tingling.

2. When the tingling is strong, place your hand on your head. Does it relieve or increase the tingling?

I put my left hand on the top of my head for about 30 seconds. It felt kind of good. When I moved my hand back down, the tingling increased, spreading from the 2 fingers to the hand, and even a little in my lower arm. There was no pain. The tingling didn't last long.

By the way, I am 58 years old, have normal-low blood pressure, not overweight or underweight, and in pretty good overall health.

I hope this information helps you to let me know what is what. Thank you SO MUCH for your help.

Hello Sita,
Obviously, being unable to examine you, I am somewhat working in the dark; in general take what you read on the internet with a pinch of salt!

Relief of tingling by raising your arm suggests that you have an irritated nerve in the lower neck. If it was pinched, you'd have pain too. That's called the Shoulder Abduction Relief sign, and it's confirmed by the fact that the symptoms increase once you lower your arm again. Don't carry heavy parcels in that arm.

The probably cause is degenerative change in the so called joints of Luschka, aka the paravertebral joints, where the nerve root escapes from your spinal cord.

Start by getting an xray of your cervical spine, including "obliques". Let me know the result.

Dr B
Keep to this thread.

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