How to wake a hibernating finger?
February 21, 2010 11:35 AM   Subscribe

What is wrong with my finger that it won't wake up??

My pinkie finger on my left hand has been asleep for about 2 weeks now... I don't know what has caused it, but nothing I do will wake it up. Now the entire left side (below my pinkie finger) is asleep too. It is continuing to get worse. Did I fracture my finger? What should I do? Is there a way I could some how wake my hibernating finger?
posted by shortbus to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
What should I do?

Go to the doctor.

(Looks like you're not alone, though.)
posted by sallybrown at 11:38 AM on February 21, 2010

It's not your finger. It's a pinched nerve in your elbow.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:38 AM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's not your finger. It's a pinched nerve in your elbow.
or anywhere in your arm above the affected area. I would go to a good massage therapist and ask about muscles in your arm impinging a nerve. (I'm suggesting this because I am studying to be a massage therapist and we discuss treatment for this kind of thing all the time. So yeah, I'm biased.)
posted by purpletangerine at 11:55 AM on February 21, 2010

Obviously this is not the only possible cause, just where I would start.
posted by purpletangerine at 11:56 AM on February 21, 2010

Doctor! My pinkie finger on my left hand went numb-ish from sitting awkwardly on the couch with my laptop. Then I started losing gripping ability in my left hand. Took about 3 months to go back to normal. I changed my laptop setup, started running, and bought a tennis ball to squeeze. If I had health insurance, I would've been at the doctor.
posted by shinyshiny at 11:59 AM on February 21, 2010

You need to see a doctor about this.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 12:02 PM on February 21, 2010

Go to the doctor. It's new, it's worsening, and it could be caused by any number of things in your arm or neck putting pressure on a nerve, including things that are bad. Don't wait until you have nerve damage. And purpletangerine, if when you are a massage therapist someone comes to you with new, worsening, undiagnosed neuro symptoms like this, I wouldn't lay a hand on them until they had a diagnosis.
posted by jennyjenny at 12:06 PM on February 21, 2010 [4 favorites]

You need to be seen by a doctor, not unseen by all of us. Yes, it sounds like a pinched nerve, but it could be any of a dozen different things. That is what doctors are for, to use their training and expertise to figure out what is wrong with your body. That the problem is progressing means you need to see a doctor sooner, not later.
posted by Old Geezer at 12:07 PM on February 21, 2010

+1 jennyjenny (speaking as a massage therapist). OP, it could be a pinched nerve somewhere, or it could be something else. You say it has worsened over 2 weeks -- that is a great reason to go see a doctor, as others have said. Please do.
posted by stillwater at 12:13 PM on February 21, 2010

See a doctor ASAP. It could be as mild as a pinched nerve, or as severe as a severed one. There are things even worse it could be (like, a tumor pushing on the nerve, or an infection, or...).

Go. See. A. Doctor.
posted by strixus at 12:32 PM on February 21, 2010


posted by ErWenn at 7:19 PM on February 21, 2010

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