Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but it can also come with its fair share of discomforts. One of those icky feelings that pregnant women often complain about is carpal tunnel syndrome. If you've been waking up at night to sore hands or finding it hard to grip objects during the day, chances are you're suffering from this condition.
Carpal tunnel occurs when there's pressure on your median nerve, which runs through your wrist into your hand. It causes pain, tingling sensations and weakness in the fingers and hand muscles. If left untreated or ignored for too long, it can lead to permanent damage.
But don't worry - there are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms without having to resort to medication or surgery. In this article, we'll explore some tips and tricks that will help you find relief from carpal tunnel while pregnant.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Before we dive into treatment options, let's take a minute to review some common symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Pain in the hand/wrist
- Tingling sensations (pins and needles) in fingers/hand
- Numbness in fingers/hand
- Weakness in fingers/hand
- Swelling around the wrist area
If any/all of these sound familiar (which probably does if you're reading this) then read on!
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy
There are a few reasons why pregnant women may develop carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Hormones: As pregnancy progresses, hormonal changes cause excess fluid retention throughout different parts of your body including around exit points such as wrists putting pressure on nerves causing swelling leading o CTS.
- Increased weight gain: The added weight gained during pregnancy puts extra stress on joints/muscles/nerves especially those in hands since they work all day long, adding pressure to median nerve.
- Repetitive motions: Over time doing mundane or repetitive tasks like typing on the computer, cooking which can contribute directly to compression of nerves in your wrists/hands.
Tips and Tricks for Relief
Now that you understand why carpal tunnel syndrome is so common during pregnancy let's explore some tips and tricks that will help alleviate pain while going through this wonderful but difficult period:
#1. Stretching Exercises (Or Yoga) (which sure feels weird at first)
Stretching exercises are one of the best ways to ease carpal tunnel symptoms. Engaging in a combination stretching/yoga routine can have great benefits especially among pregnant women who want no heavy workouts;
Here are few basic exercises you could follow easily:
- Fist clench/release exercise
- Wrist Extension stretch
- Forearm Rotation Exercise
Doing these simple stretches every morning/evening should go a long way in helping reduce both wrist swelling as well as nerve compression rather swiftly than any other option.
#2 Wear Wrist Splints or Braces(may not look cool, but works effectively)
Wrist splints or braces are soft fabric devices worn around your wrist to keep it stable so that movements do not add-on extra stress.. They provide support for the joint when performing daily activities such typing on computers/keypads washing dishes etc.
Wearing them only start feeling comfortable after wearing those including hand exercising wouldn’t seem possible without them!
### #3 Acupressure — Apply Pressure To Sooth Symptoms(a lot us wonder if it really works?)
Acupressure is an alternative healing technique based on Chinese acupuncture principles where specific points across our body need gentle pulsating massage/pressure application which helps trigger energy flow to soothe many different health concerns inclusive CTS.
Even though evidence cannot prove its effectiveness we ought atleast give try these treatments.
#4. Take it Easy with your Thumb, Index and Middle Finger(Kudos to lefties?)
The biggest culprit for carpal tunnel syndrome is ovver use of the thumb/index/middle fingers which can generate excessive pressure on median nerves causing inflammation around wrist area. It's essential to eliminate these repetitive tasks as much as possible or reduce their rate.(though sometimes easier said than done)
#5 Take Regular Breaks Throughout The Day(team meetings will longer do)
We understand that not all jobs permit easy going breaks but move away a bit from mobile/PC take breaks in between work hours stretch legs shoulder some physical flexing while shaking any other discomfort to allow blood flow helping restore effective movement.
Prevention Is Key!
It's always better if we could help our body feel comfortable without you experiencing carpal tunnel issues during pregnancy Here are few preventive measures that may come handy even before symptoms affect us :
Maintain A Healthy Weight: Being active can help maintain healthy body weight putting lesser stress over entire system especially hands/wrists.
Regular Stretching Introduce slow tension relieving stretching exercises daily for maintaining fluidity across joints and strengthening muscles.suggestion: hatha yoga& breathing exercises would go great.
Posture Correction A good posture helps distribute weight evenly throughout back neck shoulders etc.hence lessening stressful load directly falling upon key joints/nerves such as wrists/hands however persistently poor posture leads discomfort besides CTS.
Time To Bid Goodbye!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy can seem daunting at first, But rest assured things listed above definitely alleviate effects of CTS.have trust plan keep track of improvements hence allowing non-complicated delivery afterall this long journey deserves triumphant closing!