Diagnosis. The symptoms of these conditions are normally different. They may feel differently, and they may affect different parts of the body. Often nerve conduction testing can separate these three diagnoses. It is the test used most often to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and neuropathy. It is not capable of finding tendonitis. This is normally a clinical diagnosis.
Carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by hand pain and recurrent numbness or "pins and needle" sensations in the thumb, index, middle finger and the lateral aspect of the ring finger. It may be triggered by repetitive use, like driving or keyboard typing. Diabetes or obesity increases risk of onset. Wearing a wrist cock- up splint is very effective. Surgery reserved for severe cases.