Pregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel SyndromePregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

Pregnancy causes many symptoms but one common pain during pregnancy can occur in your wrist. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS, a build-up of fluid in the wrist that causes swelling and squeezes your median nerve.

CTS typically occurs in the second or third trimester when the condition called edema causes mild swelling in the hands. The build-up of fluid is due to increased blood flow and uterine pressure in your vena cava. CTS can cause swelling, tingling or pain and can feel like you have a weaker grip or like it’s harder to move your fingers at certain angles.

Pregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms

Pregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Here are the CTS symptoms you need to watch out for:

  • swelling of the fingers
  • tingling sensation in hands, wrists, and fingers
  • numbness
  • pain, especially in the morning
  • weaker grip
  • harder to move fingers at certain angles

Pain relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy

Pregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The good news is that while CTS is uncomfortable, it’s not incurable! Generally, CTS goes away on its own after delivery and once your hormones get back to normal. But since it’s not advisable without doctor’s orders to take painkillers or anti-inflammatory meds, there are home remedies and alternative treatments you can take to relieve the pain.

Here are several things you can do to manage the pain from CTS:

Stick to a balanced diet.

Swelling and build-up of fluid can be due to weight gain and hormonal fluctuations so to prevent too much weight gain which can worsen CTS, try to cut out as much salt, fat, and sugar as possible. Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Don't forget to drink your prenatal vitamins, too!

Ice your wrists.

Icing your wrists with a frozen ice pack a few times a day can bring down the swelling. After each icing session, make sure to stretch your hands and wrists.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be one of the most effective ways to relieve the pain of CTS (along with backaches, joint pains, morning sickness and fatigue). But do this regularly to see the best results as one round of acupuncture won’t immediately cure the pain. Check in with your practitioner if you have any concerns about doing acupuncture during pregnancy.

Wear a wrist brace.

To reduce wrist movements and prevent long-term pain, a wrist brace can help relieve the pain. CTS can feel worse upon waking up in the morning, maybe because of sleeping in the wrong position or on the wrist. A wrist brace can help secure the wrist while sleeping.

Do wrist exercises.

Repetitive movements such as using your mobile phone or laptop can strain the wrist, so take frequent breaks and stretch your hands and wrists. Practising wrist exercises can loosen the joints and relax the muscles and nerves in the area.

Elevate your hands whenever possible

Pain in CTS is due to fluid retention, which causes the swelling. Elevating your hands can help with blood flow and fluid retention to reduce swelling and pain.

Use a pregnancy pillow.

When sleeping, experts recommend sleeping on the side (especially on the left!) to ease pressure off liver and kidneys and allow them to function properly, which will help ease the swelling on hands, ankles and feet. A pregnancy pillow can help with that!

Apply numbing cream.

While not a long-term solution, numbing cream can get you through unbearable pain. However, it’s not advisable to apply numbing cream too often.

When to see a doctor

Pregnancy Top Tips 2022: Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As with other symptoms for pregnancy that causes pain, discomfort or linger too long, talk to your GP or gynaecologist. Your trusted medical professional can help you figure out the best treatment to manage CTS.

 

Original Publisher: theAsianparent

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