Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire

Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire gives a measure of the severity of the tingling and numbness in your hand.


Do you want to know how serious your carpal tunnel syndrome is? Take this little test, and take it with you to your chiropractor. Also note which is your dominant hand, and whether you have symptoms in one or both hands.

You must give ONE answer only, and if you have CTS in both hands, then fill in the questionnaire for each hand.

The following questions refer to your symptoms for a typical twenty four hour period during the past two weeks; circle one answer.

The test comes in two parts:

  • Symptom severity
  • Functional disability


Here is the list of eleven question to test the severity of your symptoms. Pain is very subjective. The Boston carpal tunnel syndrome questionnaire gives you a more objective sense of the pain and disability you are having.

Are you being a baby and the symptoms are really minor? Compared with the risks of surgery, should you be putting up with your pain.

Or, are these symptoms really severe and you are putting up with pain and disability and sleep nights when a course of treatment from your chiropractor really is indicated. It doesn't happen often, but neglected a pinched median nerve really can cause permanent weakness and numbness in your hand.


  • How severe is the hand or wrist pain that you have at night?
    1. I do not have hand or wrist pain at night.
    2. Mild pain
    3. Moderate pain
    4. Severe pain
    5. Very severe pain
  • How often did hand or wrist pain wake you up during a typical night in the past two weeks?
    1. Never
    2. Once
    3. Two or three times
    4. Four or five times
    5. More than five times
  • Do you typically have pain in your hand or wrist during the daytime? I never have pain during the day. I have mild pain during the day. I have moderate pain during the day. I have severe pain during the day. I have very severe pain during the day.
  • How often do you have hand or wrist pain during the daytime? Never Once or twice a day Three to five times a day More than five times a day The pain is constant.
  • How long, on average, does an episode of pain last during the daytime? I never get pain during the day. Less than 10 minutes 10 to 60 minutes Greater than 60 minutes The pain is constant throughout the day.
  • Do you have numbness (loss of sensation) in your hand? No 1 have mild numbness. I have moderate numbness. I have severe numbness. I have very severe numbness.
  • Do you have weakness in your hand or wrist? No weakness Mild weakness Moderate weakness Severe weakness Very severe weakness
  • Do you have tingling sensations in your hand? No tingling Mild tingling Moderate tingling Severe tingling Very severe tingling
  • How severe is numbness (loss of sensation) or tingling at night? I have no numbness or tingling at night. Mild Moderate Severe Very severe
  • How often did hand numbness or tingling wake you up during a typical night during the past two weeks? Never Once Two or three times Four or five times More than five times
  • Do you have difficulty with the grasping and use of small objects such as keys or pens? No difficulty Mild difficulty Moderate difficulty Severe difficulty Very severe difficulty

Add up your scores, and divide by 12. A typical group filling in this Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire report an average of 3.4.


Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire

Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire objectively evaluates the pain and disability of the tingling in your arms and hands; now to the second half of this process.


Functional status

Activity No difficulty Mild difficulty Moderate difficulty Severe difficulty Cannot do at all due to Hand or Wrist symptoms
Writing 1 2 3 4 5
Buttoning of clothes 1 2 3 4 5
Holding a book whilst reading 1 2 3 4 5
Gripping a phone 1 2 3 4 5
Opening a jar 1 2 3 4 5
Household chores 1 2 3 4 5
Carrying of grocery bags 1 2 3 4 5
Bathing and dressing 1 2 3 4 5

Once again, add up your scores, and divide by 8. A typical group filling in this Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire gave a result of 3.0.

You should then repeat this questionaire (without looking at your first response) three months later. It will give you a reliable result of how effective the chiropractic treatment was.


Useful links



  • Chiropractic Conditions is a central page at Chiropractic Help. It provides you simply and easily with the sorts of conditions that the average chiropractor would be treating.
  • Healthy Living Tips is another vital page at Chiropractic Help. Sparkling good health is not just about having your subluxations adjusted. Our healthy living tips page gives you some insights into different foods you could and perhaps should be eating.

Tingling in arms and hands

The chiropractic management of CTS depends on correctly discovering the oft multiple sites of entrapment. Surgery on the wrist often doesn't help the tingling in arms and hands, or relieves the symptoms only partially if these other areas in the below the elbow, inter scalene triangle and cervical spine aren't  also corrected; one way of measuring this process is the Boston carpal tunnel syndrome questionnaire.

The Upper Limb Tension Test should be used to rule out a frankly pinched nerve in the neck.

Surgery will not help at all if there is also tingling in the pinkie. It's not Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Think rather of the various conditions that can affect and cause a Thoracic Outlet syndrome ...

Right now I'm busy with a lady who had surgery a year ago which did not help at all; not surprisingly as the tingling was also in the pinkie. She has an unusual condition called Tietze's syndrome that sometimes affects the biomechanics of the collar bone and the inter scalene triangle.

All in all, pain and tingling in arms and hands has to be very carefully evaluated to ensure that the treatment addresses the man potential causes of the ache.


There is anecdotal evidence that a length of duck tape applied diagonally across the hand during hard physical work may relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

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