Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome early is important to avoid permanent damage of the median nerve or the spreading of pain to the elbow and shoulder.
Your doctor can determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome and rule out pain due to another underlying condition (i.e. diabetes, arthritis or fracture) with a physical examination and basic laboratory tests. The doctor will perform several exams that will test the range of motion, strength and painful areas of your wrists and hands.
The examination usually begins with checking the fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and neck for range of motion, tenderness, swelling, warmth and discoloration. The fingers are tested for sensation and the doctor may ask you to bend your wrists down to check the muscles at the base of the hand for atrophy and strength.
Often pain can be reproduced by pressing on the wrist and medial nerve, which would be a strong indication that the nerve is the source of pain. The median nerve does not connect to the little finger. Therefore, if you have feeling in that finger but the rest of your hand feels numb and painful it may be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. Range of motion and wrist flexion tests including pressing the palms together, and pressing the back of the hands together will test for alternate causes like trauma, prior injury and arthritis.
The nerve conduction test can be used to confirm a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Small electric shocks are applied and the speed of nerve impulse transmissions is measured.
With electromyography, a needle is inserted into a muscle and the electrical activity is viewed on a screen. This activity is used to determine the amount of damage the median nerve has suffered.
Phalen's Sign - Phalen's test is done by pushing the back of your hands together for one minute. This compresses the carpal tunnel and is also positive when it causes the same symptoms you have been experiencing with your carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tinel's Sign - Tinel's test is performed by tapping the median nerve along its course in the wrist.
A positive test is found when tapping the nerve causes tingling in the fingers
An ultrasonic image can be used to show the extent of impaired movement on the median nerve.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In order to relieve these symptoms of CTS, the goal is to stop the swelling or compression of the median nerve to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In order to accomplish this, rest and immobilization is a must. To treat the swelling, pain, inflammation and compression quickly, you can effectively use ColdCure Technology® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ conveniently in your own home.
Learn more about how these incredible therapies can treat the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrom at Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.