Women can be more prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy. Here’s a look at why and what you can do to help it.
During pregnancy you can be more prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because there can accumulation of fluid in the body which places more pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. It can also cause pain, weakness, and difficulty using your hand.
It is most common in the second or third trimester. Other factors such as gaining excessive weight during pregnancy or if you are carrying more than one child can make you more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms may be worse at night or in the morning.
Fluid levels normalise after you have had the baby, and carpal tunnel symptoms generally subside after this. Your hand therapist can help to manage and reduce your symptoms whilst pregnant to ensure you are sleeping well and able to function and use your hands during the day.
This is done by splinting the wrist to ensure the tunnel is open to its maximum capacity, reducing compression of the nerve, nerve gliding exercises, range of motion exercises and swelling management.