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Health Q&A: pins and needles

Dr Mark Porter / 14 February 2018

Dr Mark Porter answers a reader’s question about tingling in the hand following an elbow injury.

Pins and needles
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common causes of pins and needles in the hands.

Q: For the last few months I have been bothered with tingling and pins and needles in my left hand. I injured my elbow falling off a bike and I am wondering is this could have damaged a nerve.

A: It all depends if the pins and needles affect the whole hand as there are two main types of nerve entrapment that can lead to your symptoms. The most common one is carpal tunnel syndrome – pinching of the median nerve as it runs through the wrist – which typically leads to pins and needles in the thumb, index and forefinger. 

The other less common cause is pressure on the ulnar nerve as it passes under the inside edge of the elbow (the funny bone).  If this nerve is compressed, or if you bash your funny bone, you get pins and needles on the other side of the hand and the little and ring fingers.  This may be related to falling off your bike.

Both types are treatable. Off to see your own GP please.

What causes tingling fingers?

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.