Numbness, Tingling? You May Have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Pregnancy, whilst awe-inspiring, can be uncomfortable – morning sickness, heart burn, constipation. Add Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) to the list and it’s certainly no picnic. If you have pain, tingling or numbness in your hands or wrists and are pregnant, it could be Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

CTS is a common pregnancy symptom, but not one that get talked about that often. It’s worth remembering that it’s a normal pregnancy symptom and one that will likely disappear after birth. Here are a few other things about CTS that are worth knowing.

What Is CTS

It’s a condition that affects the nerves in your wrists and hands. The nerves that run down your wrist and into your hand pass through the carpel tunnel – a narrow area in your wrist. If anything puts pressure on those nerves as it passes through this narrow area, it can cause the symptoms of CTS.

What Causes It?

It’s those pesky hormones again! Those hormones, while there for a purpose, will cause fluid and swelling. When that swelling happens in the wrists, it causes the symptoms of CTS. You’re more at risk of CTS if you’re over weight, carrying more than one baby, or have gestational diabetes. But you can have no risk factors and still get it.

What Are the Symptoms?

Most commonly, symptoms show up in the latter part of the pregnancy and are seen more often in the dominant hand. Although it can appear in both hands. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers
  • Numbness in your thumb, index and middle fingers
  • Clumsiness with your hands
  • Weakness when trying to grab objects
  • Pain, mostly in the hand wrist or forearm but could also be felt in the elbow, arm, shoulder and neck
  • Feeling swollen in the fingers or wrist
  • Burning sensation in hand or arm.

It’s not uncommon for symptoms to flare up at night, and a common complaint is that it wakes women up. If the symptoms are a problem for you, wearing wrist splints to bed can help. Shaking your hands and wrists can also relieve symptoms.

If the symptoms are impacting your day-to-day life, it’s worth speaking to your health care provider. The main thing to remember is that it is quite normal and not indicative of any other condition.

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