How do you know if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist within a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel. In this video I’ll share with you the common signs and symptoms most people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome experience. I’ll also explain how you can know with confidence whether you have CTS.  Let’s get right to it.

Numbness and Tingling:

The most common symptom of CTS is numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers, particularly in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger. It’s important to note that carpal tunnel syndrome does not affect the small finger. Interestingly, many patients initially perceive that symptoms affect the whole hand, but after closer observation note that the small finger is not involved. This sensation most often occurs at night while sleeping, but also often occurs or worsens while performing activities that involve repetitive wrist movements like holding a phone, using a computer keyboard, or gripping a steering wheel.

Hand Weakness:

Some individuals with CTS may experience weakness in their hand, which can lead to difficulty in gripping objects or performing fine motor tasks, such as buttoning a shirt or holding utensils. Some report unintentionally dropping objects.

Pain and Discomfort:

CTS can cause aching pain in the wrist, hand, and forearm, even radiating up the arm toward the shoulder. Some describe their symptoms like a zinging electrical feeling, or feeling like their fingers have “fallen asleep” or even a “pins and needles” type feeling.

Burning Sensation:

Some people with CTS report a burning sensation in the affected hand. This is often pronounced when you wake up at night with aggravated symptoms.

Symptom Progression:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms typically follow a gradual onset and progression pattern but can develop rapidly in some patients. Initially, many individuals experience intermittent symptoms that come and go. However, as the condition advances, these symptoms tend to become more frequent and persist for longer durations.

Symptoms can manifest in one or both hands, with a tendency to affect the dominant hand initially.

Many first notice their symptoms. This is often because individuals tend to sleep with their wrists bent, which can aggravate symptoms and lead to waking up due to discomfort.

Certain daily activities can also worsen symptoms, including talking on the phone, holding a book, driving, doing their hair, or engaging in repetitive motions such as typing or playing musical instruments. This is because these activities tend to increase pressure on the median nerve.

In cases that go untreated or where treatment is delayed, the median nerve can become damaged causing the muscles at the base of the thumb to begin to atrophy and waste away.

Many individuals attempt to relieve their symptoms by shaking out their hands or repeatedly bending and straightening their fingers.

So, how can you know for sure?

The most reliable way to determine if your symptoms are related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to seek an expert evaluation. A qualified physician, particularly one who holds board certification and specializes in hand surgery, can provide you with a precise diagnosis.

With over 12 years of experience in the field, I’ve assisted thousands of individuals in finding relief from their symptoms. To make it easy, feel free to accept my limited time offer for a complimentary consultation to discuss your concerns further. You can reach out to me by calling 801.997.5770 or scheduling an appointment online at, and clicking “Book Now.”

If you reside outside of Utah, we can arrange a phone consultation to accommodate your needs. We have a growing number of patients who travel considerable distance to find relief and still come out ahead saving time and money in the process. I’m here to assist you in finding the relief you’re seeking. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for tuning in! If you found this information helpful, please give us a thumbs-up and share this video with others who might benefit.  Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on our upcoming videos where I’ll dive deeper into the anatomy behind carpal tunnel syndrome, the diagnostic process, various treatment options (both non-surgical and surgical), and what to expect during recovery.

I’m also genuinely interested in your experiences, so please share your symptoms and thoughts in the comments section below.

Until next time, take care of your hands and stay well!