15 doctors weighed in:
When there is hand tingling, how do you know if it is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome?
15 doctors weighed in

Dr. Steven Arbit
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
10 doctors agree
In brief: Location
Carpal tunnel syndrome will have tingling in the hand in the palm surface of the thumb, index, middle and 1/2 of the ring finger. It is usually not associated with pain above the elbow, but it can.
Neck pain and weakness are usually signs of a pinched nerve in the neck and not carpal tunnel syndrome. A good pm&r doc or orthopedic surgeon can tell the difference easily with an examination.

In brief: Location
Carpal tunnel syndrome will have tingling in the hand in the palm surface of the thumb, index, middle and 1/2 of the ring finger. It is usually not associated with pain above the elbow, but it can.
Neck pain and weakness are usually signs of a pinched nerve in the neck and not carpal tunnel syndrome. A good pm&r doc or orthopedic surgeon can tell the difference easily with an examination.
Dr. Steven Arbit
Dr. Steven Arbit
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2 comments
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Agree that nerve conduction study should be done to confirm the diagnosis. The symptoms mentioned are ones affected by the sensory part of the median nerve that goes through the ligament band at the wrist. But if becomes more advanced, the motor component of the nerve will lead to muscle atrophy, mostly at the plumpy muscle at base of thumb (thenar muscle). Surgery should be done before this.
Dr. David Hildreth
CTS is a clinical diagnosis. Nerve studies can confirm the diagnosis but don't correlate well with treatment.
2 doctors agree
In brief: EMG or MRI
It is difficult to tell if hand tingling is caused from carpel tunnel syndrome (cts) or other causes.
You might try this maneuver, extend your wrist, then tap on the crease of your wrist in midline with your other index finger... Lightly. If you feel tingling in your first 3 fingers you may have cts. Confirmation of cts is usually by EMG but MRI of the wrist can demonstrate the nerve compression.

In brief: EMG or MRI
It is difficult to tell if hand tingling is caused from carpel tunnel syndrome (cts) or other causes.
You might try this maneuver, extend your wrist, then tap on the crease of your wrist in midline with your other index finger... Lightly. If you feel tingling in your first 3 fingers you may have cts. Confirmation of cts is usually by EMG but MRI of the wrist can demonstrate the nerve compression.
Dr. Jonathan Dissin
Dr. Jonathan Dissin
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