Poor circulation in fingers lying down?
August 7, 2021 11:07 PM   Subscribe

Probably just getting old, but I've noticed I have "pins and needles" in my pinkies / ring fingers when I lie down for short rests and recently in the morning too. Is it my pillows (probably too many), my age (probably middle), health, or something else?
posted by KMH to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome.
posted by roofus at 11:24 PM on August 7, 2021

Best answer: Ulnar nerve entrapment.
posted by mani at 12:12 AM on August 8, 2021 [9 favorites]

Raynaud syndrome? My mom had a minor case of that for a while (not nearly as bad as the pictures on the wikipedia page)—but since moving to a warm climate 20+ years ago, she hasn't suffered it.
posted by not_on_display at 12:56 AM on August 8, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas. Ulnar sounds closest, although it definitely feels like a blood circulation thing, not so much nerves. I will probably get it checked out by an actual medical pro though.
posted by KMH at 1:34 AM on August 8, 2021

I thought my carpal tunnel was blood too. It was nerves. Wearing wrist braces at night helps.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:01 AM on August 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Menopause, hypothyroid and arthritis can also cause this - really need to talk to a doctor to figure out which.
posted by leslies at 6:24 AM on August 8, 2021

After experiencing the numbness and tingling associated with carpal tunnel, I started sleeping with my wrists straight instead of curled. That took care of it. Your pins and needles are not carpal tunnel related, as that affects specifically the fingers other than the pinky and ring finger, but I think this solution would work for you as well to prevent nerve entrapment. I just keep my hands under my pillow to keep my wrists straight, but wrist braces like tiny frying pan suggested would certainly do the job.
posted by DrGail at 7:45 AM on August 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have ulner nerve issues and this is my main symptom.
posted by foxtongue at 9:14 AM on August 8, 2021

Get your b12 checked, too.
posted by Stoof at 9:21 AM on August 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

When I experienced bilateral parasthesia and neuropathy in my hands (and eventually, toes) several years ago, my husband scared me into going for a checkup by mentioning the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Testing (an MRI, nerve testing, and all-important blood test) revealed it was a significant vitamin B-12 deficiency. Bullet dodged! (Apparently the deficiency runs in the family, though I had no clue.) As I aged, I also found my wrists would be painful on awakening when I slept in my standard position, and found great relief when I started sleeping with my wrists straight (which took some getting used to, but offered enormous relief as a result.)

Highly recommend getting your symptoms checked for peace of mind. Parasthesia can be a symptom of various disease mechanisms, some of which can be easily and quickly addressed, others which require ongoing maintenance and care. Be good to yourself.
posted by Jaqi at 9:52 AM on August 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

Those two fingers you name are specifically served by the ulnar nerve so that's a strong sign. Usually this is an issue at the elbow, but not always.

If you sleep with your elbows bent, you could try if you can change that and see if it helps.

Never hurts to get a general check-up, but if this doesn't resolve with your GP, an orthopedist is likely your next step to go for.
posted by away for regrooving at 3:06 PM on August 8, 2021

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