Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy
Yowch! Why you're more prone to carpal tunnel during pregnancy -- and how to deal.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful hand and arm condition caused by compression of a nerve in your wrist. Pregnancy can make you more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome because all the extra fluid you retain can put pressure on that nerve.
What are the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome?
You might feel numbness, tingling and pain on the palm side of your index, middle and ring fingers. Usually, your pinkie isn’t affected. You might also feel pain starting at your wrist and radiating up your arm.
Are there any tests for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is normally diagnosed based on the patient’s history and a physical exam. Additional testing probably won’t be done during pregnancy, but it could include an X-ray, a muscle study and a nerve conduction study.
How common is carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy?
It’s fairly common. We don’t have pregnancy numbers, but about 3 percent of all women will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome at some point in their life.
How did I get carpal tunnel syndrome?
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by as much as 50 percent to adequately supply your uterus, placenta and baby. That extra fluid can compress the median nerve, the one that runs through your wrist. When that happens, it hurts (ouch!). Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by repetitive wrist movements such as typing or knitting.
How will my carpal tunnel syndrome affect my baby?
It won’t. Your baby will be just fine. (Find out how to treat it on Page 2.)