You are not alone if you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). About 1 in 20 Americans will develop this painful wrist condition in their lifetime. Thankfully, there are many effective treatments for CTS, so if you have this condition, you will likely be able to reverse it. But how do you know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome? What does carpal tunnel syndrome feel like? To treat your symptoms correctly, it’s essential to have an accurate diagnosis. In later sections, we’ll discuss carpal tunnel syndrome tests your doctor might use and what this condition feels like. No matter what is going on with your wrist, check out the YouMari self-treatment program for symptom relief.
What Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Feel Like?
There are many different symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Here are some things you may experience when dealing with CTS.
- Are you having trouble holding things? Does your grip seem weak, and are you dropping things more frequently? Making a fist might also be challenging. This could be due to CTS.
- Is it hard to hold a fork or spoon or button up a shirt? This is a common experience for people with CTS.
- Numbness in the hands is also a common feeling with CTS.
- You might also feel like your fingers are swollen or swelling—but there’s no evidence of swelling, just the physical sensation of pressure.
- Another CTS sign is if your hands are less sensitive to hot and cold sensations.
- The most common CTS symptom is pain in the wrist. It may come and go or worsen over time. Pain also commonly radiates from the wrist into the arm and shoulder.
Even if you have all of these symptoms or think you have CTS, getting a diagnosis from a doctor is essential. Knowing your exact condition is the first important step to effective treatment. If your wrist pain has another cause, it’s necessary to treat that cause correctly. Other causes of wrist pain include:
- An injury to muscles, tendons, or ligaments in your wrists.
- Arthritis in your wrist or thumb.
- Issues with your nerves, such as diabetic neuropathy.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnostic Tools
Here are some tests to expect when you see your doctor about carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition to Tinsel’s Sign and Phalen’s maneuver, expect to have these tests performed by your doctor.
- Two-Point Discrimination Test
This test explores the sensitivity of your hand by using a small metal tool called a 2-point disk-criminator. Your doctor will place the two points of this tool on a finger. They will move these two metal prongs closer together on your finger. Your doctor will stop when you can only feel one point of pressure from the two prongs. The distance between the prongs will help them determine your nerve function.
- Nerve Conduction Velocity Test
When your doctor performs this test, they check how quickly your median nerve (which runs through your wrist or carpal tunnel) can communicate with your muscles. This is one of the most effective tests to reveal CTS. Your doctor will put a small electrode near your elbow on a muscle. A weak electric current is sent along your median nerve. If the current travels slowly, this shows that there is nerve damage.
This test measures how well your hand and wrist muscles are working. A small electrode will be put into your hand and will use electrical signals to test how well your median functions. This test will tell your doctor if this significant nerve that travels through the carpal tunnel is being compromised or damaged.
- Other Tests
Your doctor may perform other, more general, ultrasound, X-ray, or MRI tests. This will help them determine the causes of your wrist pain and its source. An X-ray will help rule out arthritis or a broken bone. Tests like an ultrasound or MRI will reveal if your wrist (median) nerve is swollen or compressed by surrounding structures. Blood work to check for diabetes might also be ordered.
YouMari Self-Treatment Program for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Look no further than to YouMari from BioFunctional Health Solutions for at-home self-treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Release tight muscles caused by misuse or poor posture with customized stretches and self-massage. Create alignment and strength with exercises targeting carpal tunnel syndrome. YouMari brings the physical therapist and massage therapist into your home! YouMari creates an exercise, stretching, and massage program for your exact symptoms and conditions. YouMari supports you with tools like a detailed assessment to create your custom plan and calendar reminders to help you stay on track. In the time it would take to drive to and back from a physical therapist’s office, you can complete your at-home self-treatment routine. Find relief with ease and comfort when you use YouMari and put yourself first.