‘Tackle Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy: Your Ultimate Guide’

So, you're pregnant! Congrats on entering the exciting and interesting journey of motherhood. However, as much as it is thrilling, growing a human being inside your body comes with its share of challenges as well. One such challenge that many expectant moms face is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel? What's that?

For those unfamiliar with this condition (lucky you!), carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve running through your wrist becomes compressed or squeezed. This leads to pain, tingling sensations, numbness or weakness in your fingers and hand.

And why does pregnancy cause it?

Ah yes! You may wonder how something related to wrist pain can happen during pregnancy. Well, during gestation (fancy way of saying 'pregnancy' for all my readers upgrading their vocab today) , our bodies go through numerous changes - hormonal fluctuations being one of them. This results in increased water retention/swelling referred to as edema (just another fancy word for swelling) which can put pressure on different joints and nerves including the median nerve leading to carpal tunnel!

Now don't get too worried, we have got you covered with some tips and tricks so keep reading!

Signs and Symptoms

First things first before digging into ways to prevent/treat CTS let’s identify symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Numbness/tingling sensation
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness

You may experience these symptoms predominantly in your fingers especially thumb (other than pinky), palm or forearm during daytime rather than night but again everyone’s case might be subjective based on their own bodies!

Fun fact: Do you know what else has similar signs like CTS from prolonged typing? DOG PAW SYNDROME!! LOL!!


Prevention is always better than cure they say– here’re some ways to avoid getting CTS during pregnancy:


Sitting or standing in an incorrect posture can lead to a chain of harm. Make sure you sit straight, shoulders relaxed away from ears with feet on the ground/footrest.

Also fun fact: I know people always say ‘stand straight like a soldier’ there could be something called “marching shoulder” where your shoulder tips are pointing forward which is not very healthy for your soft tissues so next time make sure you’re putting even weight distribution on both legs!!

Maintain Hand Position During Sleep

Ideally, keep hands raised above heart level using pillows when sleeping. This reduces pressure and swelling (edema again!) and thus prevents Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Have Fun fact 1: Did you know that Genghis Khan slept with his arms elevated to help him stay alive after being injured?

Have Fun Fact 2: Winston Churchill fell asleep holding onto letters from FDR trying to bond stronger! Not much help but thought it was cute!

Take breaks

Giving yourself regular wrist/hand stretches throughout the day helps minimize discomfort/pain occurring due to prolonged hours of computer work or phone texting (this should probably directed towards me as I finish typing this article). Overuse causes muscle fatigue leading up inflammation causing pain (yikes!)

Some simple stretches include: - Putting one hand down and pulling fingers back OR - Support arm elbow while gently pushing your stretched-open palm backward (Don’t forget deep breaths!! Sometimes we're so over-focused on doing exercises we forget breathing right?!)


While preventing may be better than treating yet if somehow symptoms still appear here's what can relieve those uncomfortable feelings:

Acupuncture& Massage Therapy

Acupuncture sessions tend to experience long-lasting symptomatic relief compared not having any treatment at all; also massage therapy by running warm water over affected areas/massaging with a nice spa-in-massage lotion can help relieve pressure points.

Here's something cool you didn't know: According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, applying pressure on the P6 point (located at your wrist crease) reduces symptoms of nausea and vomiting by regulating digestive Qi (another fancy word!)

Night Splints

Soft or hard night splints which can be purchased easily online/worn since they keep the wrist in an extended position making it harder for swelling/pressure to build up!

Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth 1st was known for wearing metal braces extending from neck-to-wrist; could’ve been not-so-subtle fashion statement but don’t we think…maybe she too had CTS?

Over-The-Counter Medicine

Could be specifically recommended by your doctor or pharmacist upon evaluating how severe the pain/swelling is! Generally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines tend to improve mild inflammation whereas ace bandaging/splinting may require a stronger medication after consultation.

Taking care throughout pregnancy seems like one daunting task. With loads of stress over exercises and diet plans, these pointers will lead you towards instead adopting relaxation techniques. The ultimate goal is that new moms have minimum discomfort while wading through this transition period thus keeping ‘em lil’ ones happy (all about those vibes).

So here’s hoping pregnancies remain super easy-breezy-beautiful-Covergirl-ish without carpal tunnel syndrome taking center stage.(Fingers crossed!)

I know my readers are all powerful beings, so I’m sure still if any questions pop-up in mind, feel free to check with your doctor or some other knowledgeable health practitioners (word of advice: never fall victim of Dr. Google!!)

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