Safely Treating Carpal Tunnel In Pregnancy
Of course, if pregnancy wasnt in the picture, you might think cortisone injections are the answer. These shots work, but not all the time. Also, due to their side effects, you can only use cortisone shots sparingly during your lifetime.
If you’re pregnant, doctors advise against steroid shots. But if you are not pregnant, doctors recommend you have no more than 4 cortisone shots- ever.Thats because cortisone shots can cause fluid build-up inotherbody parts. Also, they can result in seriousside effectslike kidney problems, nerve damage, joint damage, and osteoporosis.
Carpal tunnel in pregnancy usually is not a serious matter because the symptoms are often mild. Actually, most patients dont need special treatment at all.
Prevention therapy is simple. Basically, you start bybracingyour wrists at night. Most times this alone improves symptoms. The key is to begin treating the symptomsnow.Letting it go until after delivery is not advised because it will extend your misery longer.
Moreover, if symptoms worsen to a moresevere stage, they’ll cause intense distress on a daily basis. At that point, more serious treatment options are required to completely eliminate symptoms.
Reducing Tension Around The Carpal Tunnel
-Tightness in the forearm muscles often produces stiffness around the carpal tunnel. -Additionally stiffness can also be created from reduced movement of the small wrist bones that surround the carpal tunnel. -A Registered Physiotherapist will help to reduce the tissue and joint stiffness by using hands on techniques to mobilize these areas.
Carpal Tunnel In Pregnancy
Most expectant mothers know about the problem of carpal tunnel in pregnancy. Sure, it’s a problem. But there are also safe ways to make it go away.
Before I describe the best ways you get rid of carpal tunnel safely,let me congratulate you!Youre probably filled with joy and excitement right now. In fact, youre very likely overwhelmed with advice from every expert who has any opinion on the matter.
Of course it’s important to learn the best ways to take care of yourself and your unborn child. And if youve developedcarpal tunnel symptoms, you should be especially careful. Treating it safely is a major concern- but you can do it!
You might also like:
Also Check: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
Pay Attention To Your Workstation
If you work at a desk job, its important to keep your hands in a neutral position, with your fingers in line with your forearms, says Dr. Sueno. If your wrist is in a neutral position, that really minimizes the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, he says.
This might be easier with a desktop computer, since you can adjust them as needed. Frost is adamant that people shouldnt use laptops, while Sueno says that either is fine. The most important thing, he says, is to be careful not to overextend your wrists while typing.
Can Stretching Help Reduce Pregnancy Carpel Tunnel
Stretches can absolutely help. Growse recommends three stretches to alleviate the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome:
Also Check: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
Why Do Pregnant Women Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As a pregnant woman is steadily gaining weight, she her blood volume and fluid retention increases This fluid can collect anywhere in the body, including the delicate tissue surrounding the carpal tunnel. This puts pressure on the median nerve and leads to tingling, numbness and sometimes pain in the hand and/or wrist.
The good news is that it is usually a transient condition, which resolves after delivery or within the first few months once swelling has gone down. The other good news is that there are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms of CTS to make pregnancy a little more bearable.
Pregnancy And Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
During pregnancy, increased fluid retention can cause swelling throughout the body. The structures within the carpal tunnel the median nerve and all of those tendons also swell. However, the tunnel size cant get any bigger. As a result, the nerve becomes compressed, irritating it each time the wrist bends or flexes.
Read Also: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
Exercises For Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel
Do these three moves every day. If possible, ice your wrists for 20 minutes after each session. If you feel any discomfort or pain, stop and consult your physician.
1. Wrist Extension
Stretch Hold your left hand out in front of you, wrist up, palm facing out. With your right hand, gently press against your left fingers, pushing them back toward your chest. Stop when you feel tension and hold for 1520 seconds. Repeat twice on each hand.
2. Wrist Flexion Stretch
Hold your left hand up with your palm facing you. Place your right hand on the backs of your left fingers and gently push your fingers forward, toward your forearm. Stop when you feel tension hold for 1520 seconds. Repeat twice on each hand.
3. Wrist Rotation
Hold both hands out in front of you, palms facing each other, elbows bent and upper arms by your sides. Rotate hands upward 15 times, then downward 15 times, making sure the rotation is coming from the wrists, not the shoulders. When this is no longer challenging, do the same exercise while holding a 1-pound dumbbell in each hand.
Myofascial Release For Carpal Tunnel In Pregnancy
Not being able to use steroid shots during pregnancy might sound unfortunate. However, there is a safe and highly effective way to get rid of carpal tunnel symptoms.
Myofascial release massage therapyis a superior, all-natural remedy for carpal tunnel in pregnancy – or any other time. In fact,massage for carpal tunnelis the standard treatment therapists give their patients,especially pregnant women.It provides safe, long-lasting relief of symptoms.
Myofascial release massage therapy is an ancient treatment. Practitioners have known about its effects for thousands of years. Today we understand how this therapy works.
It reduces swelling and drains excess fluids from joints. Also, we know this treatment breaks apart adhesions and restrictions between tendons. Thats what causes the fluid build-up around tendons in the first place. And that’s why therapists prefer using myofascial release for treating carpal tunnel in pregnant women and any other type of patient.
Also Check: How To Reduce Arthritis Pain In Wrist
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder treat all types of injuries and conditions affecting the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the many conditions we treat.
Visit us today and see how we can help bring you relief. To make an appointment, call us at 296-6232 or request an appointment online.
What Is Postpartum Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Unlike pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, postpartum Carpal Tunnel Syndrome does not occur due to fluid retention, but rather due to the placing of the wrist/hand in prolonged/sustained positions such as when feeding or carrying your baby. A bent wrist position can aggravate the median nerve giving rise to symptoms similar to those experienced during Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy.
Read Also: Does Lidocaine Work For Nerve Pain
Carpal Tunnel Answers By Doctors:
That is a difficult position to be in and probably the source of significant anxiety for you and your husband. Dont despair, despite your seemly bleak situation, there are options for you to treat your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome without resorting to Surgery, Steroid Injections or Oral Pain Medication. Doctors have developed natural treatment options for Carpal Tunnel that do not present any risks to Pregnant women and no risks for their unborn child either.
Pregnant women often feel symptoms of depression due to this type of hopeless situation. Pregnancy is a time for hope in the future, and not a time for despair. So, shake it off and lets get to the solution.
There are two mechanisms where CTS creates its cycle of pain, numbness and sleepless nights. The first is the soft tissue surrounding the Carpal Tunnel loses its flexibility and contracts upon the Median Nerve in the Carpal Tunnel. The second mechanism, is created by pressure that builds up either from inflammation of the injured soft tissue, or water retention from the pregnancy or both contributing to create external pressure squeezing the Median Nerve.
The key with natural Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment is to restore the flexibility to the soft tissue to ease the pinching action on the Nerve and restore full blood circulation to the injured tissue to disperse the lymphatic fluid and water retention. Interestingly, this can be done through consistent gentle stretching therapy for eight hours per day.
What Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
CTS occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The median nerve runs from the neck, down the arm, and to the wrist. This nerve controls feeling in the fingers.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway made up of tiny carpal bones and ligaments. When the tunnel is narrowed by swelling, the nerve is compressed. This leads to pain in the hand and numbness or burning in the fingers.
Read Also: Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea
Facts About Carpal Tunnel In Pregnancy
Carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancywas first described in detail by Dr. A. Zyluk in the journalPolish Orthopedic Traumatologyin 2013. Today, we know that carpal tunnel in pregnancy is extremely common.
New research shows that at any given moment, nearly one million pregnant women have full blown carpal tunnel syndrome. Other facts about the symptoms include:
When Will Symptoms Improve
After delivery, your fluid levels and the extra pressure in your blood vessels will decrease. As such, your symptoms will likely improve or resolve.
That being said, new mothers use their hands and wrists nearly constantly. Lifting, changing, and feeding the new baby may lead to worsened or new hand and wrist symptoms.
Let your Ob/Gyn know as soon as symptoms begin. If we catch carpal tunnel early enough, we can start conservative treatments to reduce the risk of nerve damage or lingering symptoms.
After pregnancy, keep an eye on your wrist health. You’ll be lifting your baby a lot and making repetitive motions, which can lead to tendinopathies related to overuse.
Even if your new aches and pains don’t seem overtly pregnancy-related, let your Ob/Gyn know. Pregnancy does strange things to the body, and your provider can help you find relief from painful or annoying symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
Who Is At Risk For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
People at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome are those who do activities or jobs that involve repetitive finger use. Motions that can place people at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- High-force .
- Extreme wrist motions.
Many other factors can also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. These factors can include:
- Heredity .
- Amyloid deposits .
Carpal tunnel syndrome is also more common in women than in men.
Prevention For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are no demonstrated strategies to save you carpal tunnel syndrome, however you can decrease pressure for your arms and wrists with these techniques:
- Reduce your pressure and loosen up your grip: If your work involves a coins check in or keyboard, for instance, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a massive pen with an oversized, gentle grip adapter and loose-flowing ink.
- Take short, frequent breaks: Gently stretch and bend fingers and wrists periodically. Alternate tasks when possible. This is specifically critical if you use equipment that vibrates or that calls for you to exert a superb quantity of pressure. Even a few minutes each hour could make a difference.
- Watch your shape: Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A cozy center position is nice. Keep your keyboard at elbow peak or slightly decrease.
- Improve your posture: wrong posture rolls shoulders forward, shortening your neck and shoulder muscle tissues and compressing nerves in your neck. This can have an effect on your wrists, fingers and arms, and can cause neck pain.
- Change your pc mouse: Make sure that your laptop mouse is rest and does not stress your wrist.
- Keep your fingers heat: Youre much more likely to expand hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you cannot control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that hold your hands and wrists heat.
Read Also: Can Sciatica Make You Nauseous
About Upmc Orthopaedic Care
As a national leader in advanced orthopaedic care, UPMC treats a full range of musculoskeletal disorders, from the acute and chronic to the common and complex. Whether you have bone, muscle, or joint pain, we provide access to UPMCs vast network of support services for both surgical and nonsurgical treatments and a full continuum of care. As leaders in research and clinical trials with cutting-edge tools and techniques, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside appears on U.S. News & World Reports rankings of the top hospitals in the country for orthopaedics.
How Do I Know If I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Common signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Pain: especially in the wrist, thumb, index finger or middle finger. Pain may worsen when you move your hand or if the weather is particularly hot. Its also more likely to occur at night.
- Numbness: especially in the thumb, index finger or middle finger. A particularly bad case can result in difficulty holding on to or picking things up, and you may feel clumsy.
- Tingling: especially in the thumb, index finger or middle finger. Tingling may worsen when you move your hand or if the weather is particularly hot. Its also more likely to occur at night.
- Weakness: stress on the nerve in the carpal tunnel can cause weakness in the thumb, index finger or palm of your hand.
The intensity of symptoms can vary from mild irritation, to occasional soreness, to serious pain. Symptoms may stop you from sleeping or make it difficult to perform regular tasks such as working, getting dressed, cooking or caring for your baby.
Symptoms can be worsened by:
- repeating the same hand movements frequently
- keeping your hands in the same position for an extended time
- putting weight on straightened arms
You May Like: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
When Should I Get Professional Help For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you cant easily shake off numbness, if its severely disrupting your sleep, if youre dropping things, or you cant open jarsor even if you just have questionsits time to get some help, says Growse. If that nerve is compressed long enough and badly enough, the damage can become permanent. Its not common in pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, but if any of the more sever symptoms persist, you might need therapy.
Carpal Tunnel In Pregnancy Is Due To Fluid Retention
To understand why you get carpal tunnel in pregnancy, we must discuss changes in hormones during pregnancy. Pregnancy produces huge disturbances in body fluid levels. That results in swelling, nerve sensitivity, and changes in blood glucose concentration.
Many times those fluids build up more in one area than another. Women feel it as swollen ankles, swollen wrists, etc. Fluid retention problems are among the most common complaints during pregnancy.
Whether or not you’re pregnant,fluid retentionis the main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.Pregnancy causes fluid retention. But so does tendon irritation inside the wrist joint. Nobody is really sure why tendons get irritated to begin with. But the end result is they produce inflammation and fluid swelling inside the wrist joint.
When fluids build up inside the wrist, pressure rises. It all happens in a small, narrow space called the carpal tunnel. This space contains several tendons and blood vessels. Most importantly, the space also contains one of the main nerves of the hand, themedian nerve.
The rising fluid pressure pushes on everything in the carpal tunnel, including the nerve. Eventually, the nerve becomes compressed. And since nerves dont like being compressed, they react by causing symptoms like finger or hand:
These are the primary warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. And you can have one or all of these symptoms at the same time.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Die From Slitting Your Wrists
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed
First, your doctor will discuss your symptoms, medical history and examine you. Next, tests are performed, which may include:
- Tinels sign: In this test, the physician taps over the median nerve at the wrist to see if it produces a tingling sensation in the fingers.
- Wrist flexion test : In this test, the patient rests his or her elbows on a table and allows the wrist to fall forward freely. Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome will experience numbness and tingling in the fingers within 60 seconds. The more quickly symptoms appear, the more severe the carpal tunnel syndrome.
- X-rays: X-rays of the wrist may be ordered if there is limited wrist motion, or evidence of arthritis or trauma.
- Electromyography and nerve conduction studies: These studies determine how well the median nerve itself is working and how well it controls muscle movement.