What Movements can help the Tingling in the Pinky and Ring Finger?
My right hand pinky and ring finger are often tingling likely due to desk work. The Head Neck Anatomy pdf page 11 ..scalenes…mentions that lateral neck stretches are beneficial. So in my case would leaning my head to the left with my right arm extended while I open and close my right hand help? I have other students and office colleagues who also experience the tingling finger sensation so any advice is much appreciated.
Answer from Justine:
There are several sources that could be causing the tingling in your pinky and ring finger. The brachial plexus exiting the neck could be compressed (exits spine from C-5 to T-2), scalenes definitely play a role as well, so that lateral stretch you are talking about is great! After taking your head over to the side, slowly move it forward and back exploring where you are tight, and pause and breathe into the tight spots when you find them. (Check out the SCM Stretch post in ‘Ask an Expert’ – www.yogavistaacademy.com/question/where-to-place-the-hands-in-the-scm-neck-stretch/ – that would feel yummy too!)
One of the other main culprits is the pectoralis minor, a group of brachial plexus nerves run next to it, and when it is short/tight it constricts those nerves (and our lifestyle of computers, driving, texting, etc exacerbates the problem!!) Try standing in a doorway, arms in cactus, place forearms on door frame and lean forward, breathe into the chest area where you feel the stretch. (I’m 6’3″, it’s easy for me! if you don’t easily reach the door frame, you can do one arm at a time and focus the breath into the stretch). Also, notice when you arms are up by your ears, if the shoulder blade is compressing toward the spine, try to keep the shoulders drawn down and back so there is space between the blade and the spine – if there isn’t, the brachial plexus nerves are compressed where they exit the spine.
Here is a great stretch for the neck and shoulders, utilizing PNF to open the muscles more freely. You can do it standing or sitting at your desk as well.
The video below would also be very helpful in releasing the fascia in the neck and arm, and the last bit where you hold the forearm as you extend the wrist could help if there is any nerve compression in the forearm contributing to the hand tingling. Fascia is constantly shortening – this can be done every day and still be effective. Enjoy!