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Wrist Pain During Pregnancy. Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:34pm

San Francisco -One of the more common symptoms that occurs during pregnancy is hand or wrist pain. There can also be numbness or tingling. Weakness of grip. Night pain. Or pain that originates in the wrist and travels up the arm to the elbow. What's happening is most likely a temporary case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

The carpal tunnel is a small canal in the hand where a big nerve (the median nerve) passes through to control part of the hand. There are also 9 tendons inside the tunnel that control hand and finger movements. This tunnel is created by the alignment of your wrist bones (the word carpal is Latin for wrist) and some soft tissue structures (primarily the flexor tendon). It is about the size of the tip of your pinkie. Women have very small carpal tunnel as compared to men, and are more prone to CTS.

When a woman is pregnant she retains more fluids to help nourish and protect the baby. Often times the cells that make up part of the carpal tunnel will swell up and put pressure on the median nerve, creating a temporary case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which can be very painful.

If this occurs I recommend seeing a chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist that is familiar with this condition. It can be treated successfully most of the time. In addition, refrain from extensive computer use, wear a wrist splint, and ice your wrist/hands 3-4 times per day. Also consider some light Yoga stretches for CTS or exercises. With the right kind of treatment the symptoms should resolve quickly.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like a complimentary consultation at our Back and Wrist Pain Center please call: 415-392-2225.


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