Carpal Tunnel

Most cases of carpal tunnel wrist pain are idiopathic (no known cause) but it is often associated with pregnancy as well as repetitive strain, arthritis and trauma, among others. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can often be misdiagnosed, so if you are experiencing any discomforting pain in your wrists or hands then you would need to see a doctor who will advise on the best procedure for you moving forward. Sometimes, you may just be offered a special orthopedic carpal tunnel wrist brace to see you through the rest of your pregnancy. Severe cases of carpal tunnel can cause long term nerve damage if left untreated.

Carpal Tunnel Wrist
Carpal Tunnel Pain

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ?

It is a burning or shooting pain sensation that can normally be felt in the fingers, hands and wrists accompanied by pins and needles in the thumb, index and middle finger. This pain can travel up to the wrist and forearm and also create weakness in the movement of the thumb. Often the symptoms tend to be a lot more severe at night time.

The carpal tunnel is a passageway that runs through your wrist which houses and protects the main nerve (the median) that gives sensation to the hands and also the tendons that allow your fingers to bend. If this tunnel somehow becomes inflamed (possibly due to pregnancy hormones) it can pinch or trap the nerves inside. The wrist is a complex arrangement of bones, muscle, nerve and tendons and this passageway is already very narrow (about the width of your thumb).

Suggested Remedies For CTS

Wearing an orthopedic carpal tunnel wrist brace does offer support as it eliminates movement of the wrist preventing any further aggravation of the condition. You can also try resting your hand on a separate pillow at night to keep it away from your body to prevent you lying on it. The swelling can sometimes be dispersed with a little gentle exercise, such as circling or flexing your wrists or even placing them in cold water. Be sure to also keep yourself fully hydrated at all times as this can help with inflammation in the body.

Your doctor may also refer you to a physiotherapist who can suggest more intricate exercises that could help or even an osteopath who may be able to manipulate the wrist to aid the drainage of excess fluid. Occasionally, in pregnancy, a steroid injection (such as cortisone) can be given around the affected nerve to reduce the swelling. Fortunately, for most people, correct treatment can usually relieve the pain and numbness, restoring normal, pain-free use again. Often, carpal tunnel in pregnancy will usually disappear completely within a couple of weeks of giving birth.

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