Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Use A Hand Elevation Test To Detect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Use a Hand Elevation Test to Detect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When used in combination with other physical examinations, such as the Tinel test or the Phalen test, the hand elevation test can be an effective way to detect the likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome. Though opinions in the scientific community were divided about the test's effectiveness, recent medical evidence has conclusively shown that the hand elevation test produces accurate results. Read on to learn more about use a hand elevation test to detect carpal tunnel syndrome.


1. Perform the hand elevation test only under the supervision of a qualified medical professional. Though the test is, strictly speaking, self-administered, you'll need a doctor on hand to accurately assess the results of the test.

2. Raise the arm of the hand you want to test for carpal tunnel syndrome, holding it straight up as far as it will comfortably extend. Allow your doctor to correct your positioning, if needed.

3. Hold your arm in the elevated position for a minimum of two full minutes.

4. Use the test to detect whether or not elevating your hand induces the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. These include numb or tingling fingers (excluding the pinky), stiffness or pain in the fingers, palm of the hand or wrist, and soreness or pain that reaches as far as the shoulder.

5. Have your doctor perform follow-up tests, such as the Phalen test or the Tinel test. Most doctors only consider the hand elevation test to produce meaningful results if they can be duplicated using other, more specific, carpal tunnel syndrome tests.

6. Expect that you may need to undergo an electromyogram (EMG) test, which will require needles to be inserted into the affected hand, in order to confirm the diagnosis. This is the most reliable physical test for carpal tunnel syndrome currently available.

7. Treat your case of carpal tunnel syndrome as directed by your doctor, if it is indeed diagnosed.

Tags: elevation test, hand elevation test, carpal tunnel, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand elevation