Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis - EMG Electromyography

A common carpal tunnel diagnosis method is to use EMG (Electromyography), often in conjunction with a Nerve Conduction Velocity Study.

Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis by Symptoms and Physical Cues

Often a doctor can determine a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome based on the patient’s description of his or her symptoms. The classic symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and numbness in the hand that wakes up a patient from sleep and is worse at night or when getting up in the morning. A doctor may also observe atrophy (reduction in size) of the thenar muscle at the base of the thumb – an indication of more advance carpal tunnel syndrome. If a doctor suspects a patient has carpal tunnel syndrome, many will recommend the patient see a specialist for special testing and treatment.

Electrodiagnostic Testing for Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis

Doctor will often order a nerve conduction velocity study to confirm a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. This test measure the speed and strength with which the median nerve is communicating electrical signals. During the nerve test a doctor will place electrodes hands and wrists. Then the device will administer small electric shocks and measure how quickly the impulses are transmitted by the median nerve. If slower than normal or weaker than normal this indicates the nerve is pinched, compressed, or damaged. It can also indicate whether the patient has mild, moderate, severe carpal tunnel syndrome.
EMG or electromyography is also frequently used for carpal tunnel diagnosis. With EMG a small needle is insert into nearby muscle; it assesses damage to the nerve by measuring and interpreting electrical activity.

If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to see a specialist for testing, diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment – contact us today.

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