Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and are wondering why you having numbness and tingling in your hands, you’ve come to the right place.  Carpal tunnel in pregnancy can often occur, and if you’re feeling that tingle in your wrists and hands, chances are the culprit may be carpal tunnel. According to ResearchGate studies, carpal tunnel syndrome is a frequent complication of pregnancy, with a prevalence reported as high as 62%.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a frequent complication of pregnancy, with a prevalence reported as high as 62%

Carpal tunnel is usually associated with work or sports that require repetitive motion such as typing or golf but it strikes pregnant women for a different reason.

All About Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy

Carpal tunnel is common in pregnancy.  It can occur when there is a buildup of fluid in the tissues in your wrist.  This swelling squeezes the median nerve that runs down to your hands and fingers causing numbness and tingling.  Carpal tunnel in pregnancy tends to occur during the second or third trimester.  It can also develop or continue in the days after the birth of your baby.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy

The swelling that comes with pregnancy puts pressure on a key nerve found in the wrists and can cause the same tingling sensations that are most associated with repetitive motion and ergonomic strain.

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Common Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy

Aside from the tingling sensation, symptoms may include:

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • A dull ache in the fingers, wrist and hand
  • Symptoms are often worse at night
  • Pain may extend to the forearm and upper arm
  • Swelling
  • Symptoms usually affect both hands and can appear at any time

What Can You Do for Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy?

If your carpal tunnel symptoms aren’t severe, these nonsurgical treatment options may help your symptoms improve:

  • Wearing a wrist splint to keep your wrist straight, usually at night
  • Take frequent hand-stretching breaks to relieve hand pain and tingling
  • Try to figure out what activities cause or aggravate the problem for you and avoid these activities as much as possible
  • Do exercises and stretches that will help strengthen the muscles in the hand and arm
  • Learn ways to protect your joints as you go about your daily activities
  • Schedule an appointment with Desert Hand Therapy
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Shake your hands and wrists out frequently to get the blood flowing
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands
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