How to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy

How to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy

How to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy

How to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common condition that affects many pregnant and postnatal mamas. So I want to share with you my tips on how to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy.

I had this condition at the very beginning of my pregnancy with my son and it was actually the first sign that I knew I was pregnant!

The pain was absolutely horrible and I had never experienced it before.

What is the Carpal Tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is the narrow passageway found on the inside of the wrist where nerves and tendons pass from the arm into your hand and fingers.

When the carpal tunnel is compressed it will then effect the functioning of the flexor tendons and the median nerve as they pass through the tunnel.

Carpal Tunnel Sydrome can cause pins and needles, numbness and stiff painful hands. It affects 30-50% of pregnant woman, making it very common!

Conditions that can cause carpal tunnel in pregnancy are inflammation and edema (swelling), along with poor biomechanics and repetitive strain. I know that being a massage therapist and the repetitive movements of my hands and wrists are what triggered mine.

During pregnancy hormones cause retention of fluid and they also soften the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. When this happens the nerve running through the tunnel may become squashed, resulting in pain. 

Postnatal carpal tunnel can also onset if not already present from poor biomechanics of holding the baby, and hand positions when breastfeeding. Edema and inflammation may also be present during the postnatal recovery.


Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

* Pins and needles
* Numbness
* Pain (which may be worse at night)
* Burning sensation in the fingers
* Radiating pain into the arm & shoulder
* Sharp darting pains in the wrist

How to relieve symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

*Avoid any positions or activities that make symptoms worse
* Avoid heavy lifting
* Avoid repetitive tasks
* Elevate hand
* Sit on chairs with armrests and elevate affected hand
* Apply ice wrapped in a tea towel over wrist for 10-15 minutes every couple of hours (do not put ice directly on skin)
* Wear a compression bandage
* Wear a wrist splint (especially at night) to keep wrist straight (neutral)
* Perform regular fluid drainage massage and gentle exercises
* Gentle exercise can provide a muscle pumping action to reduce swelling
* Make a fist, then spread your fingers, move wrist forwards and backwards and bend and straighten your elbow
* Keep your shoulder, elbow and hands moving normally to stop your arm becoming stiff
* Dont leave your arm hanging down by your side for long periods of time.
* Eat less salty foods
* Lying down to rest during the day
* Elevating your legs when sitting
* Wear compression garments

I hope this information on how to relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy is helpful to you!  If you need any help or info at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Much Love,

Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist



References: Pregnancy Massage Australia

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  1. […] and carpal tunnel pain can start early in pregnancy, so getting some relief with a massage treatment is a god-send […]

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