Are you one of the many individuals who spend much time performing repetitive hand motions at their job? Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is becoming more common among professionals who work long hours performing repetitive hand motions or frequently use vibrating tools. Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome pain are unaware that their pain is brought on by nerve damage from overusing or irritating nearby tendons in their hands. Fortunately, you can check for CTS at home with a Phalen test.
Phalen’s test is a crucial step that helps you determine if you need to seek treatment. Our team of experts at the Ovation Hand Institute can help you diagnose and manage carpal tunnel syndrome, providing you with the best possible care and support.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What Is It, And What Are the Signs & Symptoms?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition brought on by the median nerve being compressed. Common signs and symptoms of CTS include:
- Tingling and numbness in the hand, particularly in the thumb, index, and middle finger.
- Pain in the wrist and hand.
- Reduced grip strength.
- Difficulty handling or holding objects.
- Burning or aching sensation in the hand and wrist.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers in the carpal tunnel. CTS is caused by pressure on the median nerve and there are numerous factors that increase someone’s risk:
- Working with vibrating tools, repetitious bending of the wrist, assembly line work
- Trauma or injury to the wrist
- Swelling or inflammation near the tendons
- Lesions in the wrist
- Cysts in the carpal tunnel
- Underlying medical issues, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, an underactive thyroid gland, or an overactive pituitary gland
What is the Phalen’s Test?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can occasionally be confused with another illness that presents with the same symptoms. That’s why the Phalen’s test is used. The Phalen Test is a simple, non-invasive test used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. The Phalen test gauges the severity of the nerve compression.
How Do You Perform the Phalen Maneuver?
The Phalen Maneuver is a simple and easy diagnosis test for carpal tunnel syndrome. It is performed by flexing the wrists, with the back of the hands pressing against each other, for one minute. CTS is indicated by any tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers or palm during the process.
Here is how the Phalen maneuver is done:
- Stand or sit with your arms relaxed at your sides.
- Compress the two backsides of your wrists together and keep the wrists held in a 90-degree flexed position.
- Keep your wrist in this position for 60 seconds.
If you feel tingling, numbness or pain during the maneuver, your Phalen test result is positive and you should contact Ovation Hand Institute for a consultation.
What Does A Positive Phalen Test Mean?
If you experience tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers when doing the diagnostic test, you most likely have CTS. Stay calm if your test result is positive, and get in touch with Ovation Hand Institute for an evaluation. You will not need a referral for this service. Though a positive Phalen test suggests that the median nerve may have been injured, it is crucial to remember that more testing will be required to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome definitively.
What Does a Negative Phalen Test Result Mean?
If you do not experience any tingling, numbness or pain in your hand during the Phalen maneuver, your Phalen test result is negative. If the Phalen test is negative, carpal tunnel syndrome is less likely, but is not entirely ruled out.
What is a Reverse Phalen Test?
A reverse Phalen test, sometimes known as a prayer test, is a medical diagnostic procedure that can help identify the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome. The Reverse Phalen test is performed by holding the hands and wrists in a flexed position with the palm facing up for one minute. Your test is positive if you feel tingling, numbness, or discomfort in your fingers, wrist, or forearm.
Don’t Delay: Get Early Diagnosis for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Ovation Hand Institute
Do you have any signs that point to carpal tunnel syndrome? A medical professional must evaluate you to ensure you receive the proper diagnosis. The Phalen test done at home might not be as precise as those carried out by a medical provider
At Ovation, we perform carpal tunnel surgery for patients struggling with the effects of CTS. Thanks to our ultra-minimally invasive procedure, our patients can resume regular activities in a day or two.
Don’t delay. Get an early diagnosis at Ovation Hand Institute today.
Book a free call for more information about our ultra-minimally invasive surgical procedure.
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