You can have numbness and pain in your hands during pregnancy. This could be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. Read on to learn about the symptoms and preventive measures for this common pregnancy condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common discomforts occurring during pregnancy. Almost half of the pregnant women experience numbness, pain and tingling sensation in their hands. This usually occurs in the last trimester and goes away after pregnancy as well.
Why are my fingers going numb?
Numbness in fingers is a common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. It generally affects people who have to perform repetitive tasks with their fingers (e.g. pianist, typists, etc.). However, it can also affect expectant mothers. The thumb, middle, index and half of the ring finger pains because of the carpal tunnel, through which nerves run, swells during pregnancy. The pressure causes numbness, tingling, burning and sometimes pain. It could also spread to the full hand, wrist and arm. Wearing a wrist splint and taking vitamin B6 as prescribed by your obstetrician generally gives relief. Otherwise if the pain is severe, consult your obstetrician.
I have a tingling sensation in my hands and feet.
Pregnant women are known to experience the sensation of pins and needles in their extremities. It is nothing serious. Your circulation is fine. Just change your position.
What are the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Tingling and pain in fingers and thumb of one or both the hands
Numbness and weakness in the hands
Reduced manual dexterity sometimes
Pain may get worse at night
Very strong pain in arms and shoulder
Burning sensation in the fingers
Sharp rushing pain from the wrist
What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of fluid buildup in the tissues of your wrist. This occurs in swelling which creates pressure on your median nerve the result of which you get numbness and tingling sensation in hands. You may also find that you do not have the grip as strong as you had before. In fact, lack of coordination is felt by many. You may find it difficult to do anything that requires fine movement of fingers and hands.
If you had carpal tunnel syndrome in previous pregnancies or you have a family history of CTS, you have more chances of going through this condition in your pregnancy.
Another most significant cause due to which you can have carpal tunnel syndrome is if you have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy. This is also the case with women who are expecting more than one baby. Also, if your breast size increases considerably at the time of pregnancy, you are likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. This is because extra pressure and strain is put on your shoulders, arms and ribs.
Even though you might find symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome very uncomfortable, it is not a serious issue. Usually the symptoms go away as soon as the swelling due to pregnancy subsides. This is because the hormone and fluid level returns to normal within a week or two after child birth and all the discomforts due to these changes vanish one by one. However, some women do develop this few days after childbirth also.
In some cases, if the suffering persists for another few months, surgery is recommended so that the pain and discomfort is reduced. However, this happens in very rare cases.
How to prevent pain and numbness?
Keep a check on your weight and do not let it increase more than normal. Maintain intake of balanced diet during pregnancy which should include beans and pulses, eggs, poultry and meat. Try to reduce salt, sugar and fat from your diet. Try to have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet all through the day and drink plenty of water.
Eat food that is rich in Vitamin B6 to support your nervous system. For example:
Dark green vegetables like broccoli
Lean meat, for example lamb and pork
Sunflower and sesame seeds
Fish like salmon and cod
However, it is good to gather details from your doctor before taking any supplement. Also, if you find that your breast size has increased a lot, you should buy a good and supportive maternity bra so that the weight is lifted from breastbone and ribcage.
Gentle exercise helps reduce the swelling and hence symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome will not occur. Keep your hands, shoulders and elbow moving so that they do not get stiff. Also, avoid leaving your hands hanging down for long period of time. If you keep in mind the things mentioned here you will be able to prevent the discomfort from happening.
What are the causes of numbness and tingling sensation in hands and feet during pregnancy? What are the ways to prevent carpel tunnel syndrome? How is carpel tunnel syndrome treated during pregnancy? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team