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CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME DURING PREGNANCY

December 3, 2020
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CAUSES, RISK FACTORS, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

Have you ever experienced carpal tunnel syndrome at the time of your pregnancy or after delivery. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition during pregnancy. Carpal tunnel is formed by wrist  bones on the bottom and the tough band of connective tissue on the top called Transverse carpal  ligament or flexor retinaculum.

During pregnancy the median nerve which passes through this carpal tunnel gets compressed and  causes a certain kind of discomfort in the hands, because of swelling the fluid which gets collected in  the carpal tunnel, putting pressure on the median nerve causes numbness, tingling sensation and  pain occurs on the hands. Overall 60% (60 in every 100 percent) of the pregnant women may  experience the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms may range from mild to very  painful which may affect one or both the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common during the second and third trimester.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS :

  • Tingling sensation
  • Pain on the hands
  • Nocturnal numbness (Pain at night time)

RISK FACTORS

  • Repetitive hand or wrist movements
  • Fluid build up(swelling on the hands)

Follow up advices for carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Rest:

It is always advisable to prevent the symptoms by avoiding the overuse of hands and keep ur hands on pillow to allow for rest.

  • Ice:

Ice pack can be given in the pain area(hands and wrist) approximately for 10 minutes. It's followed by a hot pack as a contrast bathe and this can be given for 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Elevation:

Try to keep your hands in an elevated position ,when you hang down your hands because of insufficient circulation it can cause swelling.

  • Sleeping position:

Avoid sleeping on the affected side and place one pillow comfortably to  keep the affected hand on it . Don't hang down your hand to prevent the pain and wear the  splint for the overnight.

  • Exercise:

It's mandatory to continue with exercises after a period of rest which helps to  prevent the swelling.

Stretching exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome :

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Wrist flexion and extension:

  • Place your forearm over the edge of the table at a comfortable height.
  • Now lift your fingers and bend your wrist up
  • Then bend your fingers and wrist down
  • Repeat this for 10 times
  • Make a fist in your hand and then straighten your fingers
  • Repeat this for 10 times
  • Making an 'o' shape by touching the thumb with each finger one at a time • Repeat this for 10 times

Must Read: Fit Bits: How Physiotherapy Can Help You and Your Baby Through Pregnancy and Beyond

Wrist Splinting:

Wear neutral wrist splints at night time to lower the carpal tunnel pressure and to prevent the  symptoms. By following this all these precautions and exercises carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented. Wish  you all a happy and healthy pregnancy:)

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