Diagnosis of carpel tunnel syndrome

The condition caused by the impingement of the median nerve is known as carpel tunnel syndrome. The impingement occurs at the narrow opening known as carpel tunnel. Trans carpal ligament and the hammate and pisiform bones together form the opening.


• Feeling of numbness in the hands (dormencia nas mãos), especially in the thump, middle and index finger
• tingling in the hand (formigamento nas mãos) Poor grip in holding or lifting of items
• Muscle atrophy
• Difficulty in the movement of wrist and fingers

If any of the above symptoms are noticed it is very important to meet a doctor immediately and plan your future actions according to his advice. There are some easy tests that can be conducted at home itself to establish the existence of carpel tunnel syndrome. They are discussed below.

Tinel’s sign: Hold your hand out with your palm facing upward and tap quickly and firmly at the center of the wrist. If the tapping aggravates the symptoms, it can be considered as a case of carpel tunnel syndrome.
Phalen’s test: Press both your palms together keeping your forearms up and bending your elbows. The wrists should remain at 90 degrees and the fingers should be pointing downwards. If any aggravation of symptoms is felt by holding hands in this position for one minute, then it suggests a case of carpel tunnel syndrome
Reverse Pahlen’s test: Hold your hands in praying position and lower your forearms and wrists as far as possible and if the symptoms are worsened it is a case of carpel tunnel syndrome.

Carpel tunnel is a narrow area where the median nerve may get entrapped due to inflammation, fluid or building up of scar tissues. This can happen due to the following reasons.
• Over use of the median nerve and consequent irritation
• Obesity
• Fluid retention which may happen during pregnancy
• Misalignment of elbow, neck and shoulder regions
• Tumor in the wrist
• Inflammation caused by arthritis and other infections

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