Several Tests for CTS
Are you hands and fingers feeling weak? Are you feeling numbness and pain in the wrists and fingers? If you are apprehensive that you might be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, but you are not sure? If so, then the following carpal tunnel tests could help you clarify your doubts.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tests and Diagnosis at the Doctor
Pain and tingling in the hands and fingers could be a sign of carpal tunnel. CTS is brought about by the nerves that connect the fingers to the hands. Some reasons for carpal tunnel and repetitive stress include the position of the wrist and hands for prolonged blocks of time.
One or more of the following tests will be conducted by your doctor to determine if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome:â€¨- An Electromyogram: muscles produce electrical discharges measured in electromyography. Your doctor will insert a thin-needle electrode into the muscles that need to be evaluated. This will measure the amount of electrical activity in your muscles. They will take measurements while your hand is at rest and working. If muscle damage has occurred and carpal tunnel is present, the doctor will now have a diagnosis.
- Physical exam: Carpal tunnel syndrome can have an effect on both the strength of the muscles and the feeling in the fingers, so both will be tested by your doctor. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be brought on by pressure to the median nerve. This can occur when the wrist is bent or pressed for a prolonged length. During the exam your hands, neck, arms and wrists will be looked at. The movement and strength of your thumb will also be checked while you pinch or grip an object.
- X-ray. Your wrist will be x-rayed if your doctors feels its is essential after he has looked at other causes.
- The Nerve Conduction study: This is a variation of the test just discussed above. The doctor will tape 2 electrodes to the skin area. To check if electrical impulses are slowing in the carpal syndrome, your doctor will then pass a small shock through the median nerve.
CTS tests at home: Here are 2 tests you can perform at home.
- Tinel: Holding the wrist, tap the palm side of the wrist. CTS is present if you have tingling in the thumb, middle fingers or index finger. You could have carpal tunnel syndrome if you feel tingling in your index, middle fingers, or in your thumb. So, you suspect that you might be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome?
The first is Phalen's Sign, in which the elbows are held at should level. Hold the back of your hands together at a 90 degree angle. You should hold in this position for one minute. This will apply pressure to the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. You could have CTS if after doing this test, your pain flares up again or is worsened.
If any one the two carpal tunnel tests mentioned above were positive, and you haven't visited a doctor yet, then you should do so immediately. Carpal Tunnel can cause permanent damage to the median nerve and a lot of pain and even disability. If you got negatives on your tests, whether at home or at the doctors, then your pain is caused by other issues.