Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mimics

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mimics: Pronator Syndrome

This syndrome is a compression of the Median Nerve.  There are several variations to the Pronator Syndrome (PS).  This compression can occur at several areas in the forearm.   Since the Median Nerve is compressed, just like it is in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the symptoms are very similar.  Pronator Syndrome is rare type of Median Nerve compression.  Patients with PS typically complain of pain around the front of the elbow and top of the forearm.

This pain is commonly aggravated by activities such as repetitive pronation and supination.  PS has also been related to repetitive exertional grasping work, such as that performed by assembly line workers, carpenters, weightlifters, and tennis players. PS usually presents in the patients 50s and is 4 times more common in women than men.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mimics: Double Crush

Areas of numbness from pinched nerve in neck

The Double Crush Syndrome refers to multiple asymptomatic nerve compression sites along the course of a nerve that create a symptomatic compressive neuropathy as the result of the cumulative compression sites.  In other wards, one Median Nerve compression is light and does not cause symptoms.  However, if two or more of these slight compressions exist they have a cumulative effect and produce symptoms just like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A pinched nerve in the neck can also cause the tingling and numbness in and arm and hands.  It also be part of the Double Crush Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mimics: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

A Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is similar to a Double Crush Syndrome in that the Median Nerve is irritated or pinched.  Sometime the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can be one of the pinches of the Double Crush.  Symptoms of a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can be a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome mimic in that tingling and numbness cam be present in the hands.  However, the symptoms are more widespread than found in Carpal Tunnel.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mimics: Trigger Points In Forearm Muscles

There are muscles in you forearm that can develop “trigger points”.  Trigger points are areas within the muscle that become overactive.  The trigger point can create sensations of tingling and numbness in the forearm and hands.  However, when the doctor checks for nerve involvement with a pinwheel the test is negative.

More Information:

For more information click on these links:

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

Carpal Tunnel Tests

Non-surgical Treatment of Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Stretches