Distinguishing between the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and those of other conditions can be difficult at times. One year after I was diagnosed with MS, I began to experience problems with both of my hands. They became clumsy, painful, stiff, tingly, and numb, while my forearms were painful. I initially suspected MS because symptoms that had led to my eventual MS diagnosis included weakness and numbness in my left arm, hand, and last two fingers.
But this presumed MS attack was somewhat different. It affected both hands and caused pain in my fingertips that made touching anything — like piano keys or a computer keyboard — excruciatingly painful. I was dropping things and couldn’t continue to do the things I loved and needed to do.
My neurologist examined me carefully. He checked my strength, coordination, and reflexes. He flicked my middle fingernails looking for the Hoffmann reflex. He tapped the area over my wrists (Tinel’s test) and had me hold my hands in a reverse prayer position (Phalen) to see if either maneuver elicited additional tingling or numbness in my fingers. None of these tests are definitive, but they can be helpful in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
Read this post in its entirety:
Weakness, Numbness, and Tingling in My Hands: Is It MS or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?