Carpal Tunnel Home > Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Making a Diagnosis

When diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, a healthcare provider will begin by asking a number of questions and performing a physical exam. If there are several possibilities for a person's symptoms, he or she may also recommend certain tests to look at how the median nerve is functioning. The healthcare provider will also consider a number of other conditions that share symptoms with carpal tunnel syndrome before diagnosing the condition.
(Click Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis for more information on how this condition is diagnosed.)

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Once a diagnosis has been made, the healthcare provider will either recommend a non-surgical option or surgery for treating carpal tunnel syndrome.
All treatment options are focused on relieving pressure from the median nerve. The specific treatment your healthcare provider recommends will depend on:
  • Your current symptoms
  • How long you have had them
  • What is causing your symptoms
  • What was found during the physical exam and other tests
  • What has been tried in the past.
Non-surgical options include:
  • Rest
  • Splinting the wrist
  • Activity modifications
  • Medications, such as steroid injections
  • Exercises (see Carpal Tunnel Exercises)
  • Physical therapy.
Surgery may also be recommended. There are two types of carpal tunnel surgery:
Early diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome are important to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve.
(Click Carpal Tunnel Treatment or Carpal Tunnel Surgery to learn more about treating the condition.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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