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Your Health

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.
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.
  • What else could account for these symptoms?
  • 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?
  • I've heard there are several ways to treat this condition. Which treatment will be the most effective and long lasting for me?
  • I can't seem to make all the lifestyle changes at once. Which are the most important to attempt first?
  • 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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