Hand Pain During Pregnancy (Carpal Tunnel)

Hand pain during pregnancy may very well be a sign of pregnancy carpal tunnel. It’s rather common. The symptoms can range from tingling, that familiar “pins and needles” feeling, to pain that aches, throbs, or stabs. It can be disconcerting to realize that your physician has given you the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.In most cases, the symptoms go away after the birth of the baby. While they may crop up later in life, there is no guarantee that you will ever experience the discomfort again. The pain and tingling is a sign that the nerve that runs along the edge of your forearm is being compressed. This nerve’s location makes it vulnerable to certain types of stress.During pregnancy your body swells. The swelling is often produced by extra fluid that is retained throughout the various stages of pregnancy. This can put additional pressure on the nerve, which causes the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel. In most cases, the condition is diagnosed on symptom complaints alone unless otherwise requested. There are specific tests that can be done in order to confirm the diagnosis.Most people who do repetitive action jobs are aware of the risk of developing the condition. During pregnancy, your risk factors actually double if you do repetitive tasks. Typing, production, and manufacturing work, and even playing computer games can ignite the inflammation that causes the pain. If it’s at all possible, you will want to refrain from doing this type of action throughout your pregnancy.When you go to bed at night be aware of where your arms are. Propping them on pillows can be quite helpful. Avoid tucking them under your head or neck as this will increase the discomfort. Shaking the hands and flexing the wrists back and forth can also help decrease the pain. Doing this several times per hour will help break up the movements.Ice packs can be helpful, especially when the pregnancy swelling is obvious and you notice that the pain or tingling increases. Many patients end up with wrist braces to help alleviate the discomfort.Carpal tunnel during pregnancy can be difficult to deal with. When you are pregnant, there are numerous symptoms that you will experience. Some will be for the entire term of your pregnancy while others will be short lived. Hand pain during pregnancy is often one of those symptoms that lasts the duration of the pregnancy. With management, it doesn’t have to impact your quality of life too dramatically.

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