Interviewer: When someone is seeking professional help with a specialist in carpal tunnel syndrome, what are some qualities in a specialist that they should be looking for?
Dr. Sarim Mir: Carpal tunnel syndrome patients should see a neurologist who have had significant training on nerve conduction and EMG study. It is a test which is used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. A neurologist with a fellowship and an experience in performing those types of tests are preferable.
They can also see other types of specialist who can also see and treat these conditions accordingly. The other thing is that experience is important. Seeing a specialist is important, because there are some patients with some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel such as numbness in the hand and a possible weakness of the grip.
In Some Carpal Tunnel Patients the Cause of the Illness is Mystifying
In some of patient cases the cause is very curious. Every year I see patients in the office who have been referred to me for possible carpal tunnel syndrome and every year I find very few patients who actually had strokes which may have caused the weakness of the hand; one hand may be weak the other may be numb. In the past, we have also seen some patients who actually had MS that actually caused them to feel the weakness in their hand. They think (and sometimes their family physicians think) that they had carpal tunnel. When the patient comes to us, we don’t just do the testing on them.
A Medical Expert Can Properly Diagnose an Illness and Distinguish Carpal Tunnel from Other Serious Diseases
We take a detailed history of the patient and carry out an examination on them. We can immediately diagnose when the cause of the patient’s symptom is potentially serious. Other times, there patients who may think the problem is carpal tunnel but in actuality the problem could be at their elbow or neck, too. So experts will help to distinguish carpal tunnel from these serious diseases.
How Can a Medical Specialist Alleviate the Psychological and Emotional Distress Accompanying the Illness
Interviewer: Sometimes people feel like carpal tunnel is a hopeless situation. What can you do to help reduce the emotional factors of that situation?
Dr. Sarim Mir: What we have found—and this isn’t actually just with carpal tunnel syndrome but with all the diseases that we treat—that if we give the patient an explanation of their symptoms, a prognosis, and set their expectation, and define a treatment plan for them it alleviates their anxiety.
If patients have unexplained symptoms, they actually tend to think of the worst case scenario especially when they go to the Internet and try to search the causes of the symptoms. That doesn’t help.
A Medical Specialist Dispels the Confusion and Provides Clarity to the Patient Regarding their Diagnosis
When they come to our office, we bring them clarity, and we remove their confusion. We give them hope by showing them a path or coming up with a plan. We always advise them to follow the plan to get a lot of good chances to improve.
What we believe in is making a therapeutic partnership with the patient. In this partnership the patient plays a very important part. The patient doesn’t just play just a passive role. We don’t just give the patient some pills, or give them order for therapy without giving them a proper explanation and then send them out with a pat on the back.
We don’t do that.
More often than not when I’m with a patient—when I give the patient an explanation of their symptoms—I ask them to repeat what they’ve heard to make sure that they understand the nature of their condition.
What You Should Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and How You Can Overcome It
Some Carpal Tunnel Patients May Hesitate Or May Be In Denial About Their Illness
The Common Aggravating Factors For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Common Misconceptions Regarding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome