If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be tempting to diagnose yourself. We often do that with a cold or a stomachache. Carpal tunnel syndrome is not typically diagnosed by the patient. However, there are ways to tell if the symptoms that you're having may in fact be the result of carpal tunnel syndrome. The distribution of that initial numbness and tingling in the thumb index middle finger and this half of the ring finger are a strong suggestion that your symptoms may in fact be carpal tunnel syndrome. Thinking about when the symptoms occur and what makes them happen is also a pretty strong clue that this may be carpal tunnel syndrome. If you're waking up at night with numbness in both hands in that distribution and shaking your hands out makes them go away. That's probably carpal tunnel syndrome. If reproducing that position by curling your wrists like this for 15 or 20 seconds starts to give you numbness and tingling and those specific fingers. That's also probably carpal tunnel syndrome. So patients can have a good sense based on that initial symptom development and evaluation that in fact their problem is carpal tunnel syndrome, and that should lead them to talk to their doctor about it and get an appropriate referral to a hand specialist.
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