Hand Numbness during Pregnancy
Updated: Nov 1
Are you pregnant and experiencing carpal tunnel like symptoms? Did you know that this is actually a very common symptom during pregnancy? For example, 31-62% of pregnant women experience onset of carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy. One of the main reasons for this is due an increase in fluids during pregnancy. The increase in hormones causes swelling which generally is the greatest in the extremities such as the wrists and ankles.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel consist of numbness and tingling into the first three digits of the hands as well as pain in the carpal (wrist) joints. This sensation is usually worse at night. Other symptoms consist of throbbing, swelling into the fingers and difficulty gripping objects of performing fine motor skills. These symptoms can occur either on one or both hands and are generally present around the 30th week of pregnancy, but can occur sooner.
The median nerve is the nerve being affected during true carpal tunnel syndrome. This nerve supplies the musculature of the thumb and first two fingers. If this nerve is being impacted, such as by a build-up of fluid, the muscles of the hand are not getting adequate nutrients, therefore become weak and people develop the pins- and- needles sensation. The median nerve begins in the cervical spine and extends throughout the arm, into the wrist, through the carpal tunnel. Impingement of this nerve is possible in the neck as well as arm, however due to an increase in fluid in pregnant women and the fluid pooling in extremities, hand and wrist symptoms are most common.
Carpal tunnel during pregnancy is a common complaint that we see at ANH Wellness. We help to decrease the tension in the musculature of the arm and wrist as well as adjust the carpal bones to assist with the narrowing of the carpal tunnel due to swelling. This allows the function of the nerve to be restored, thus decreasing numbness and improving fine motor skills in the symptomatic hand. Kinesotape is another beneficial treatment that helps decrease the edema located in the wrist!
Let us know if you are experiencing these symptoms during pregnancy, we recognize how uncomfortable this may be, and would love to help!
By: Dr. Alyssa Hickey
Owner and Chiropractor at ANH Wellness
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