About sixteen years ago, I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands. The symptoms alone are not enough to earn you a diagnosis, as many of you may be aware. You must endure two medical tests, which, in my humble opinion, are pretty barbaric! For more information about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, check out online nursing classes that can teach you the conditions and diseases that cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


Carpal Tunnel diagram of hand

Image from U.S. National Library of Medicine.

At that time, my right hand was the worst, so, after wearing a brace for several weeks (which was a major pain in the butt), I finally had surgery (Carpal Tunnel Release). The brace helped my left hand enough that I was mostly symptom-free until just a few months ago.

Since about November, it has progressively gotten worse; it often wakes me during the night (sometimes it is very painful), and the thumb and first three fingers often become numb/tingly/painful off-and-on throughout the day. It’s interfering with my daily activities, so I spoke to my doctor about it. Unfortunately, I had to have the archaic diagnostic tests again. (Yeah, I was dreading it.)

So, about two weeks ago, I went to a neurologist for the testing. First, there was the increasingly uncomfortable nerve conduction velocity (NCV) procedure, where they ran electrical current through various positions on my hand and arm. At first, it wasn’t as bad as I’d remembered, and I even mentioned that to the doctor. Perhaps that was a mistake. The shocks got stronger. I survived.

Next up was the Electromyography (EMG). I’m certain this has been used as a method of torture–and possibly still is. This is when they inserted a needle into the muscles of my hand and arm, and had me contract the muscle (ouch!) to measure how well the muscles react to nerve stimulation. This was the worst of the two tests by far. I don’t care to repeat either one ever again!


Machine used for EMG.

This is the machine that inflicts the torture (with the doctor's help).

At the end of all this, the doctor confirmed what I already knew: I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Now I have to wait until my doctor receives the neurologist’s report so that we can discuss the next step. Personally, I’d rather get the surgery over with sooner rather than later (and prevent me from going through these tests again in the future!). We shall see.

Have any of you had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? How did you treat it? How are you now? I’d love to hear!

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8 Responses to “Uncomfortably Numb (and Tingly)”

  1. Tim Says:

    Well, I know what tests I’m not getting! Glad they’re behind you, love!

  2. veronica lee Says:

    I have a friend whose CTS has been treated by her chiropractor. You might want to read this post I shared on chiropractic – http://ofmiceandramen.blogspot.com/2010/03/chiropractic.html

    Have a nice day!
    veronica lee´s last post ..Noel Cruz

  3. Stacey Says:

    Thanks for the info, Veronica Lee!

  4. momto8blog Says:

    this must be getting more common! good luck with everything!!
    momto8blog´s last post ..Turn Your Disappointments Into Knowledge

  5. Stacey Says:

    Thank you, “Mom”! :)

  6. MamaWise Says:

    Sorry to hear about your CTS. I went through those same tests when I had numbness in my left hand when I was 20 and it ended up being TOS (thoracic outlet syndrome) and now I have totally unrelated numbness and am diagnosed with MS. I hope you find out what the next step is soon and get better!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Visiting you back from Blogger Comment Club :)
    MamaWise´s last post ..Monday Madness Mayhem – #3

  7. Hilary - Feeling Beachie Says:

    thanks for this post… i think I have CTS too. I did the NCV test on Tues, and am scheduled for the EMG thursday… not fun… doesn’t help that I have to type all day for work, and just spent the last three months working on a book…
    Hilary – Feeling Beachie´s last post ..I want to hold your hand…..Wordless Wednesday

  8. tunneltube Says:


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