Carpal tunnel syndrome is like an uninvited guest that decides to crash your pregnancy party.
This pesky condition, affecting many expectant moms, can make your joyful journey towards motherhood a bit more challenging.
Picture your wrists and hands tingling or going numb, often when you least expect it.
But fear not—it’s not a forever thing!
For most moms-to-be, carpal tunnel is a temporary hitch in their pregnancy journey.
Let’s unravel the carpal tunnel syndrome mystery and find ways to make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible!
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during Pregnancy?
- Hormonal Changes: This 9-month-long hormonal rollercoaster causes your body to hold onto more fluid, leading to tissue swelling in your wrist. This swelling squeezes the median nerve in a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel. It’s like a traffic jam, causing numbness, tingling, and discomfort.
- Increased Fluid Retention: The extra fluid leads to swelling in wrist tissue, thus pressing on the nerves. Think of a water hose: The water stops flowing smoothly when pinched.
- Weight Gain: The extra pounds put more pressure on nerves and blood vessels, including those in the carpal tunnel.
- Repetitive Hand Movements: Performing repetitive motions with your hands repeatedly, like typing or knitting, may irritate the carpal tunnel.
- Pre-Existing Health Issues: Any pre-existing wrist issues or predispositions to fluid retention will increase your chances of getting CTS during pregnancy.
Do Pregnancy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Go Hand in Hand?
As a future mom with carpal tunnel syndrome, you’re part of a club where 31 to 62% of pregnant women, according to a 2015 study, also share the same experience. (Source: Healthline.com)
While only about 4% of the general population deals with CTS, the numbers shoot up dramatically during pregnancy.
This jump in numbers is attributable to all the pregnancy-related changes occurring in your body, like fluid retention and hormonal shifts.
7 Carpal Tunnel Symptoms during Pregnancy
- Tingling Sensations: It’s like your hands are throwing a tingling party, especially in the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
- Numbness: Expect your hands to fall asleep more often with CTS.
- Pain: Either a dull ache or a sharper pain, particularly in your wrist and palm.
- Weak Grip: You might find it harder to grip or hold onto items, like your phone suddenly feeling slippery.
- Swelling: Your hands and fingers might decide to puff up.
- Burning Sensation: Occasionally, carpal tunnel feels like a tiny firecracker sending sparks throughout your wrist and hand.
- Symptoms Worse at Night: For some mysterious reason, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms often become more noticeable at nighttime.
Does Carpal Tunnel during Pregnancy Go Away on Its Own?
Carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy is only a temporary nuisance!
After you’ve welcomed your little one into the world, these symptoms typically pack their bags and leave within a few weeks to a couple of months.
Just like pregnancy cravings, carpal tunnel symptoms are there for the ride, but not for long after!
How Chiropractic Care Addresses Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during Pregnancy
Chiropractic care for carpal tunnel is like having a traffic cop who can untangle the mess!
First off, your chiropractor will inspect your spine and neck to ascertain the root of your carpal tunnel troubles.
Adjusting your spine will ease the overall pressure in your body, relieving some of the stress on your wrist nerves.
Furthermore, they’ll arm you with tips on posture and wrist positioning.
Everything from the way you sleep to how you type can throw your body out of whack during pregnancy.
Your chiropractor will show you ways to sit, sleep, and go about your day that keep your wrists in the chill zone.
Finally, your chiropractor will recommend light exercises and stretches to strengthen your wrist and hand muscles.
In a nutshell, chiropractic care for carpal tunnel during pregnancy is about identifying the root of the problem, easing the pressure, and guiding your body to a more comfortable state!
10 Treatment Options for Pregnancy-Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wrist Splint: They keep your wrists straight, especially at night, when you might bend them in your sleep. This straight position gives the nerves a break from all that squishing.
- Ice Packs: Applying ice packs to your wrist reduces the swelling and gives your nerves some much-needed relief.
- Stretching and Gentle Exercises: They help keep things limber and improve blood flow. Remember, gentle is the keyword here.
- Taking Frequent Breaks: If you often engage in activities involving wrist action, remember to take constant breaks.
- Ergonomic Adjustments: This means setting up your work or home space in a way that’s kind to your wrists. Adjust that chair, keyboard, and mouse to avoid straining your wrists.
- Acupuncture: A touch of pinprick magic can ease the pain and improve nerve function.
- Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises and strategies to manage your CTS symptoms better.
- Massage Therapy: Getting your hand and wrist massaged will improve circulation and relieve pain.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: Chat with your doctor about safe medication during pregnancy.
- Avoiding Trigger Activities: Avoid the activities that make your CTS symptoms worse.
Explore the Relief of Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!
At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere.
Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome!
- “Carpal Tunnel and Pregnancy: What’s the Connection?” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/carpal-tunnel-pregnancy. Accessed 28 Dec. 2023.
- “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Pregnancy.” Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/amp/article/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-and-pregnancy. Accessed 28 Dec. 2023.
- “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Pregnancy: Pregnancy, Worries and Discomforts Articles & Support: NCT.” NCT (National Childbirth Trust), www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/worries-and-discomforts/common-discomforts/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-pregnancy. Accessed 28 Dec. 2023.
- “Pregnancy: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Pregnancy: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Kaiser Permanente, healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/health-encyclopedia/he.pregnancy-carpal-tunnel-syndrome.zt1608. Accessed 28 Dec. 2023.
- “What to Do about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during Pregnancy.” What to Expect, WhattoExpect, www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/carpal-tunnel.aspx. Accessed 28 Dec. 2023.