Carpal Tunnel and Pregnancy

At this day and age, carpal tunnel syndrome has become an increasingly common condition, mainly because of the skyrocketing number of jobs that has something to do with typing and repetitive motions of the hands and wrist. In fact, at the mention of carpal tunnel syndrome, most people automatically think of a medical condition that is common in workers who are often typing in front of the computer. What most people aren't aware of is that there are other conditions that may bring about carpal tunnel syndrome. In any sense, although rarely ever connected, carpal tunnel and pregnancy are actually a huge possibility.

What is Pregnancy-Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Trauma and injury to the wrists aren't the only cause of CTS. There is also an increasing number of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition which has the same signs and symptoms as that of carpal tunnel syndrome although this one is caused mainly by pregnancy alone. In fact, roughly twenty percent of pregnant women around the world are suffering from inhibited movement of the upper extremities due to carpal tunnel syndrome.

It is hard for an expecting mother to face the possibility or diagnosis of having carpal tunnel syndrome. After all, just when they need their hands the most to take care of their newly born child, their movement is restricted by a debilitating disease, giving them little chance to help out in taking care of their newborn.

The manifestation of carpal tunnel and pregnancy are typically related to the alterations in hormones and the fluid retention that naturally occurs in a pregnant body. Fluid retention in the body may change the position of the carpal tunnel, compressing the median nerve. The hormone imbalance may also affect the carpal tunnel by causing inflammation and swelling, which will also compress the median nerve that runs through it.

Normally, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms occur on the second trimester of the pregnancy, mainly because this is where fluid retention and hormones surge. However, these symptoms will disappear after pregnancy. Although there are cases where the symptoms may recur and there are also cases wherein the symptoms progressed for months and years, it usually disappears with relative ease.

Treatment for Pregnancy-Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel and pregnancy is a combination dreaded by numerous pregnant women out there. The pain is an additional discomfort, alongside the usual discomforts felt by a pregnant woman. Hence, it is always important to ensure comfort and safety before deciding on various treatments.

It is important not to take any analgesics, supplements and other oral medications without the doctor's advice since there are several medications that can be harmful for the developing fetus. Paracetamol, a known analgesic, has been taken by pregnant women without any side-effects. Hence, it is considered to be safe for pregnant women. Other painkillers, such as narcotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided.

Follow your doctor's recommendations, not only for your own health but also for the health of your future baby. Carpal tunnel and pregnancy may make a discomfiting combination but when you know what to do and you expect what will happen, you will be better prepared to take on the challenge of becoming a mother, in spite of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.