Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In Pregnancy: All You Need To Know

During pregnancy, since your body and mind tend to change in several ways, you might experience several pregnancy discomforts. You might feel queasy, moody, tired, swollen, and so on and so forth. You might also get carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy?

A 2015 study claims that Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is commonly found in 31 to 62% of pregnancies. Although researchers are not quite sure why pregnancy carpal tunnel takes place, they have speculated that pregnancy hormones that are responsible for pregnancy swelling – (swollen feet, hands, and other parts of the body)  give rise to carpal tunnel syndrome at this time.

The bones of the forearm have the median and ulnar nerve along with the muscle tendons in them. In fact, the median nerve of the hand supplies sensory information to the lateral half of your palm (flexor aspect). Fluid retention and inflammation of the arm compress the nerve during pregnancy, resulting in tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands. A group of such symptoms is also known as carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy. However, the pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms don’t just end here.

What Are The Other Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms? 

The common symptoms of this problem during pregnancy are already mentioned for you above. However, there are a few other symptoms also available and the symptoms are divided into – motor and sensory symptoms.

Motor Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

  • You won’t be able to hold an object with your hands
  • Your daily jobs with your hands like brushing your teeth, or holding a pen would also be difficult
  • You’d also find it difficult to do fine activities – like typing, sewing, etc.

Sensory Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

  • You might lose sensation in your palm region
  • You might even lose creases on your skin and
  • You might be more susceptible to burns and traumas as a result of reduced sensation

Who Is At a High Risk Of Pregnancy-induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? 

If you’re someone who’s expecting and working may be at a high risk of this syndrome. But, we know that’s not the end. Those of you who are at high risk are:

If You’re Plus-size

It’s still not entirely clear, whether your being plus-size during your pregnancy might give rise to this problem. However, some studies have indicated that your being overweight is one of the reasons for this syndrome.

If You’ve Pregnancy-induced Diabetes or Hypertension

Due to gestational diabetes and hypertension during your pregnancy, there might be fluid retention, swelling, and inflammation. This might further increase the risk of this problem.

If You’ve Been Pregnant Earlier

Although the soaring relaxin hormone is responsible for expanding your pelvis and preparing your cervix for childbirth this hormone during pregnancy plays its role in causing carpal tunnel syndrome especially if you had been pregnant earlier.

If You’re More Than 30 Years Old

As per a 2017 study, if you’re pregnant and 35 years old with a body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) of 33.14, you might undergo this problem. If you’re 40 years, and pregnant with health conditions like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, depression, and overweight, you might have a chance of developing such a problem.

A 2012 study shows that almost 50% percent of pregnant women experience the symptoms in both hands. With the progression of the pregnancy, the symptoms might worsen. In this case, treatment is the best way out.

right hand pain during pregnancy
Source: Shutterstock

What Are The Ways To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In Pregnancy?

The more you try to mitigate the syndromes, the more symptom-free you will be. Therefore as far as the treatment is concerned you might either consider both medical treatment or natural.

Medical Treatment For The Hand Pain Symptom

  • Use a brace or splint. This method will help you when your symptoms are severe. Take the help of your doctor to wear your brace or splint to keep your hands in a neutral position.
  • Get physical therapy done (like Myofascial release therapy) to reduce the pain, with the help of your doctor. Myofascial release therapy is a type of massage to keep the tightness of the ligaments and muscles lower.
  • Take pain relievers like Tylenol or acetaminophen with your doctor’s permission. Not taking more than 3,000 mg daily is considered safe during pregnancy.

You Can Try Out These Home-remedies For The Hand Joint Pain Symptom

  • Lower the activities of your wrist, particularly if you’re typing
  • Keep your wrists elevated by keeping your wrist on a comfortable pillow, so that hands don’t pain
  • Keep your wrist wrapped in an ice-wrapped towel for about 10 minutes
  • Practice yoga. A study shows that yoga can increase the strength of your grip
  • Take enough rest

Most of you who might feel the pain and numbness in the last trimester, although the symptoms may crop up as early as the first and the second trimester. In most cases, the symptoms might fade away after you’ve delivered your baby. However such a challenge during pregnancy if not treated at the right time, can affect your overall well-being. As we know that you wouldn’t want to spoil the best moments of your life due to challenges like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Also follow our blog page to gather some more information on pregnancy and the benefits of cord blood banking.