Does your pinky feel numb? Does the numbness extend to your ring finger and to your arms? Be wary of these signs as these signify nerve damage along your ulnar nerve. Numbness in your pinky and ring finger, either right hand, left hand, or both hands, can mean that your ulnar nerve is being trapped. This is clinically referred to as ulnar nerve entrapment.
- The ulnar nerve can be entrapped due to wrong posture. If you have the habit of resting your chin on your hand while working on a computer, you are running the risk of trapping the nerve that runs along your elbow. The first onset of pain or numbness can be felt at night and progress through the day.
- It is important to acknowledge the numbness and work on eliminating the habits that cause them. You would have to properly identify the cause of the numbness of your ulnar nerve. If you constantly bend your elbows while using the computer, you need to consciously rest your elbow flat on the surface. If you have the habit of resting your elbow in the window while driving, allow both of your hands to rest on the steering wheel to prevent prolonged weight load on the elbow. If you don’t feel like resting your hands on the wheel, place your hand on your leg instead.
- Another important habit to consider is bending your elbows while you sleep. If you sleep with someone, ask him to observe your position while you are sleeping. This will allow you to conclude the cause of the numbness of your fingers. Try to sleep with your elbows straight. If you can’t control your arms from folding, wear a tight long-sleeved shirt to prevent this; alternatively, you can use a binder to hinder the unconscious folding.
- For more severe cases of ulnar nerve damage, you need to consult with a chiropractor, an occupational therapist, or a neurologist. If the pain and numbness are stopping your daily activities, consider making an appointment with the professionals to provide immediate care.
- Regular exercise targeted to the area can also help relieve the pain and the numbness. Practice these steps: extend your arms in front of you; make a right angle between your body and your arm. Bend your wrist so that the palm of your hand is facing the front. The next step that you need to do is to bend your lower arm towards the upper arm, similar to flexing your biceps. Stop mid-way to make a right degree angle. The palm of your hand should now be facing you. Repeat five to six times. Do this for both your arms regularly. This will help alleviate the numbness in you fingers.
- Another exercise to try is to extend your arms, with fingers curled to make a fist, on your sides. Twist your wrist so that your fist makes a circular motion. Keep your arms straight while bending your wrist when rotating your fist. Repeat for about five rotations for a complete set. Do this exercise three to four times within the day.
Observe for about a week and evaluate if the numbness can still be felt. If it does, then consider visiting your doctor.