How to know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome
If you think you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and looking for a Carpal tunnel exam then you got to the right place.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a situation that occurs when an inflammation of the tendons in the wrist results in increased pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. When the carpal tunnel becomes swollen, your median nerve is pinched or compressed.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause intense pain in the wrist and can prevent sufferers from engaging in their everyday activities such as writing, typing or playing a musical instrument.
There are several ways to perform Carpal Tunnel Exam; simple test that can be done at home by yourself and find out whether it is carpal tunnel syndrome that you are suffering from, and other medical more extensive tests.
When going to the Dr. to check whether you suffer from Carpal tunnel syndrome, he will first perform a carpal tunnel exam, some of them you can do at home.
There are three simple carpal tunnel exams you can perform at home; Tingle’s Test, Phalen’s Test, and Ellis’s Functional Test.
Although performing a carpal tunnel exam on yourself is very easy it’s important to consult your physician to get an appropriate diagnosis for any discomfort you are feeling.
After reading this article you will have a better understanding of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the ways to Test for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and you will be able to perform a quick carpal tunnel exam.
There are several extensive examination methods to evaluate nerve damages and other muscle and pain related diseases this list will include the thenar muscle test, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, Electromyography (EMG), and Nerve Conduction Studies (NTS).
All those exams are more expensive and can be ordered only by a medical physician. However, most of those tests aren’t safe during pregnancy, and therefore another route must be taken in some cases.
In cases where the above carpal tunnel exams cannot be done there are several simpler tests that you can even do on your own at home;
Please notice that in all cases the little finger is not affected, because median nerve isn’t connected to this finger.
The first carpal tunnel exam you can take is the “Tinels Test”; this carpal tunnel exam is also known as “the median nerve percussion test”.
To perform this carpal tunnel exam you should take the next steps:
Place your hand palm side up on a table.
Tap the area over the median nerve with the index finger of the opposite hand.
If you feel any tingling or numbness in your hand, the test is positive (this test is 65% accurate)
The next Carpal tunnel exam you that can be performed at home is the Phalen’s test:
Place your elbow on a surface and allow your hands to relax to a 90-degree angle at the wrists. Or gently place the backs of the hands together with no force, and hold this position for one minute.
If you feel any numbness, tingling, or pain in your thumb, index finger or ring finger the test is positive at you might be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (the accuracy of this carpal tunnel exam is about 75-80% accuracy).
The last but not least carpal tunnel exam that you try on yourself is the Ellis functional test.
The Ellis function test to identify carpal tunnel syndrome was first invented by Dr. John Ellis.
And here is how it goes:
1) Hold your hands facing up, spread in front of you.
2) Straight all fingers, and attach your thumbs – to closely fit the outer sides of your palm.
3) Bend your thumb into the center of your palm – while still keeping it attached as much as possible to your palm.
4) Now try to fold your finger down in such way that the tips of your finger will touch the upper part of your palm – while your palm stays open and facing up.
Now- if any of the fingers can’t be bent completely or you are feeling any pain you are probably suffering from Carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, Last Updated: 27/8/2017