The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health defines carpal tunnel syndrome as having two or more the following criteria one or more the following symptoms affecting at least part the nerve distribution of hand again the median nerve comes from neck goes down the arm Through the Carpal Tunnel and supplies sensation to the thumb Index, long, and half of the ring finger so if you have either paresthesia which means it just doesn’t feel quite Right, it’s a little less sensitive than normal Hyperesthesia which means it feels super sensitive.
Pain or numbness and that is criteria number one being met for carpal tunnel syndrome so you have one of those symptoms plus one of the signs which means a physical exam findind that we’re about to talk about then you by definition have carpal tunnel syndrome so let’s talk about the signs so if you have a positive tinel sign, a positive Phalen test result or diminished sensation to pinprick in the median nerve distribution that’s considered a positive sign on physical exam. Now let’s go through each of those test.
Positive Tinel test means that when you tap above this crease this is called the distal wrist flexion crease when you tap right above that crease and you feel shocking sensation going into the these fingers that’s carpal tunnel syndrome the Phalen test consist of putting your arms in a bent up position a Lot of times people rest them on a table putting the backs Of the hands together and fully flexing the wrist A positive test means you get numbness or tingling in that distribution of the medial nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Definition
Sometimes the test takes up to a minute to become positive but if it’s positive that’s considered a positive finding so I’m starting to get Numbness and tingling right now because I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome So I’m going to shake them awake and I’m good to go on now pinprick that’s pretty obvious if you compare the two sides, take a little pin and you compare the two sides than that side if it’s diminished on your normal hand I mean your bad hand then that’s considered a positive sign so that’s really all it takes.