Circulation problems are a common malady. There are both common and uncommon causes of poor circulation, which often presents most predominantly in the extremities like the hands, feet and legs. Everyday lifestyle factors such as a sedentary occupation or a lack of physical activity like regular exercise can be a very common culprit for people encountering poor circulation in fingers and in the lower parts of the body as well. And, more serious conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome can also be responsible for a reduction in blood circulation in the hands and fingers. But, there are other situations where people might encounter a decrease in blood flow in the fingers and hands, and some of these circulation problems are the result of underlying health conditions.
Raynaud’s disease is one of the most well known problems that can adversely affect hand circulation. Mayo Clinic explains that the disease is characterized by the narrowing of blood vessels in a response to stimuli, most often cold but sometimes also stress. While the disease can affect the toes and even the nose, the fingers are the most commonly noted areas to experience symptoms. Aside from poor blood circulation, sufferers may also encounter color changes in the hands and the fingers as well as sensations of tingling or numbness. These feelings that can also include pain in extreme cases are a result of poor circulation in fingers resulting from the temporary restriction to blood flow associated with the often idiopathic illness.
Another condition that may result in decreased circulation in the fingers is peripheral neuropathy. Mayo Clinic notes that peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to various nerves throughout the body. The condition can affect multiple physiological functions because it affects nerves that are responsible for many body functions. For instance, motor skills can be impaired due to damage to the nerves that control muscles. And, poor circulation in fingers can result from damage to nerves that are responsible for the control of heart rate and blood pressure. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include burning or jabbing pain sensations, muscle weakness, coordination problems and of course tingling in hands and fingers, a result of circulation problems.
A more rare condition that is seen most often outside of the United States but almost always in tobacco users is Buerger’s disease, which affects the veins and arteries that are in the legs and arms. Inflammation in these areas can cause a reduction in blood flow and ultimately upon progressing, blood clots and clogged arteries. Pain is the most common symptom, likely a result of poor circulation in fingers, hands, legs and feet.
Most often, symptoms of circulatory problems in the fingers and hands include numbness, tingling and sometimes even pain. Other symptoms can accompany these depending on the underlying cause of the condition, if one exists. As such, treatment options are varied. For everyday issues relating to poor circulation in fingers, movement is often the best method of management. There are some exercises that can be done to get blood pumping in the affected areas. For instance, making a fist with the thumb locked inside and then extending the fingers outward and repeating the process in sets of ten at various points throughout the day can help to provide some relief. And, eliminating risk factors for circulation problems such as smoking and being overweight can also play a role in symptom management. Further treatment options depend on the cause of the condition, and medical care may be required. For example, poor circulation in fingers as a result of peripheral neuropathy will often require the use of medications like pain relievers and even anti seizure medications, according to Mayo Clinic, and sufferers of Raynaud’s disease will also be considered for medications specific to that condition as well.
In all cases of poor circulation in fingers however, with approval of a health care provider, there are some ways to boost circulation at home. There are supplements and vitamins for circulation that can help provide the body with the nutrients it needs or may be deficient in to promote healthy blood flow. And, there are even foods that can be helpful in reducing poor circulation such as dark chocolate, which contains flavonoids thought to help increase blood circulation. And, there are also purported herbal remedies as well, with turmeric and ginkgo biloba being the most well known for their ability to increase blood circulation in the alternative healing community.
It is very important that if the signs and symptoms of circulation problems present in the hands or anywhere else and there are risk factors present or underlying health conditions, that a health care provider be consulted. This will prove essential in determining the cause of the symptoms and also play a role in proper treatment and care options.