Median nerve compression
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can usually be diagnosed by your GP, who will examine your hand and wrist and ask you about your symptoms.
Your GP will assess your ability to use your hand, wrist or arm, and look for signs of weakness in the muscles surrounding your thumb.
Your doctor may tap your wrist lightly to see if you feel tingling or numbness in your fingers, although this test isn't reliable.
Flexing your wristor holding it elevated above your head for a minute are other commonly performed simple tests for CTS. This should induce the same pain, numbness or tingling in your hand if you have the condition.
Any of these sensations may be the result of your median nerve being compressed. A positive result on one of these tests suggests you may have CTS, but doesn't prove it.
Further testingfor diagnosis is usually only required if your GP is uncertain and wants to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms.
A blood test can be used if the doctor suspects an underlying condition relating to CTS, such as:
A nerve conduction study is a test that measures how fast signals are transmitted through your nerves.
During the test, electrodes are placed on your hand and wrist, and a small electrical current is used to stimulate the nerves in the finger, wrist and sometimes the elbow.
The results from the test indicate how much damage there is to your nerves.
Nerve conductionstudies are usually performed in hospital and take about 10 minutes. They're generally not very painful, but may be uncomfortable.
The main imaging method used in CTS is an ultrasound scan , which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the inside of your body.
This method can be used to see the nerve itself, and can often add further useful information about CTS.
Read about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a relatively common condition that can cause pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers.
Read about the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), including tingling, numbness and pain
Read about the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which are caused by squashing (compression) of the median nerve at the wrist.
Read about diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS can usually be diagnosed by your GP, who will examine your hand and wrist and ask you about your symptoms.
Read about treating carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and how long it has lasted.
Peter Taylor, 58, a customer services adviser from Norwich, first noticed tingling in his fingers a couple of years ago. He has had two carpal tunnel releases.