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Talking to Your Doctor About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with carpal tunnel syndrome. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Symptoms

  • What else could account for these symptoms?

About Your Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Given my work or lifestyle, how concerned should I be about developing carpal tunnel syndrome?
  • Since I do repetitive hand motions at work, what can I do to reduce my risk of carpal tunnel syndrome?

About Treatment Options

  • I've heard there are several ways to treat this condition. Which treatment will be the most effective and long lasting for me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • I can't seem to make all the lifestyle changes at once. Which are the most important to attempt first?

About Your Outlook

  • Should I explore a change of occupation, either permanent or temporary?
  • Among my other job possibilities, which are the best options for my condition?
  • Can carpal tunnel syndrome cause permanent disability?

References:

National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nih.gov/ .

Occupational Safety and Health Administration website. Available at: http://www.osha.gov/ .

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