Carpal Tunnel during Pregnancy – Facts and Advice
It is not uncommon for women to develop Carpal Tunnel during pregnancy, particularly when she is carrying more than one baby. But how serious is the syndrome? What causes it? Can it be treated naturally? We’ve got expert answers to all of your questions. Read on for more information on the causes and treatments of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy.
1. What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure on the median nerve. Both men and women can suffer from this condition at any times in their lives. The root of the problem is usually an infection or swelling, or a problem with blood flow. If left untreated, it can become excruciatingly painful.
2. What causes Carpal Tunnel during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is generally caused by edema – a build-up of fluid which can put pressure on your median nerve. The symptoms of pregnancy induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
- A weaker grip in your hands.
- Frozen feeling in your fingers or toes.
- Intense wrist and hand pain, particularly when you first wake up.
It is worth making a note of any of these symptoms and discussing them with your pregnancy care team.
3. What are the best methods of pregnancy Carpal Tunnel relief?
There are a number of natural strategies you can use to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy. These include:
- Gentle hand exercises – try simply squeezing your hand open and shut or pressing gently on the pressure points in your wrist and at the base of the thumb.
- Complimentary therapies such as massage, reflexology, and acupuncture.
- Including more omega 3 and fatty acids in your diet – fish and seeds are an excellent source.
- Including more vitamin B6 in your diet – dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are an excellent source.
As always, it is important to discuss any symptoms and possible treatments with your midwife or obstetrician. While a website can give you general advice based on medical research, only your own team knows the specific details of your pregnancy and can give you the personalized advice you need.
4. What if I have severe Carpal Tunnel during pregnancy?
If the pain is severe and none of the above pregnancy Carpal Tunnel treatment works, you may need to seek specialist medical care. Some of the interventions a doctor may prescribe for CTS include:
It can help to make notes about your symptoms (time of day, intensity, dominant hands or fingers, other symptoms or observations) in the lead-up to your appointment with a doctor. The more information they have, the better they’ll be able to diagnose and treat your condition.
5. Does Carpal Tunnel go away after pregnancy?
Generally, the pain will lessen and disappear in the days or weeks following pregnancy. If your CTS does continue, you should inform your midwife or obstetrician as you may require further treatment.
6. Can you develop Carpal Tunnel after pregnancy?
Yes. It is fairly common for women to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the days or weeks after giving birth, even when they have not had it at all during pregnancy. This can mean that you have an infection or inflammation which has gone undetected. Once again, you should discuss these symptoms with your pregnancy care professionals.
7. What factors can make me more likely to develop pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are a number of factors that can make you more prone to developing CTS. These include:
- A history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome before you were pregnant.
- A family history of Carpal Tunnel during pregnancy.
- You were overweight before conceiving.
- You have gained weight rapidly during your pregnancy.
- You are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy edema.
- You are carrying twins or triplets (or more!).
This list is not exhaustive and every pregnancy is different. Anyone can develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrom at any time.
Do you have a question about Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy?
Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question! If you’ve read the article and are still wondering something about carpal tunnel and pregnancy, it’s likely that other women are wondering the same thing. Feel free to post your question in our comments section or to send a private message through our contact us page. Additionally, if you’ve got a story about your experience with CTS, or some advice on how to relieve Carpal Tunnel pain during pregnancy, we’d love to hear from you!
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