12/21/2021 by Dr. Michaela Peterson
Pregnancy and Carpal Tunnel
Women’s bodies go through an enormous amount of changes during pregnancy. Some of the changes are confusing, others are downright frightening. Suddenly having pain in places where you didn’t have pain before can cause some serious stress. It's especially challenging when the pain and discomfort negatively affect your ability to perform daily tasks.
Pregnancy's contribution to Carpal Tunnel.
Many pregnant patients come in feeling concerned and apprehensive about what's going on in their bodies. So many changes — it’s hard to tell what’s normal, and what isn’t. Discomfort and pain can cause a lot of worry, especially when it’s completely unexpected, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Often associated with computer work and other repetitive motion tasks, Carpal Tunnel does not seem like a condition associated with growing a human. But the truth is, it's more common than you may think.
Why do pregnant women get carpal tunnel?
Carpal Tunnel often accompanies pregnancy because of an increase in fluid retention. The extra fluid puts pressure on the median nerve that runs through the bones of the wrist. This pressure often causes a tingling sensation, numbness, or both.
How can you tell if you’ve got Carpal Tunnel?
Like all medical conditions, the only way to be sure is to be diagnosed by a licensed professional. Chiropractors are among the professionals certified to diagnose and treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
What are some common Carpal Tunnel symptoms?
A pregnant patient may come in complaining of tingling and/or numbness into their thumb, index and middle fingers. They may experience pain when bending their wrist. Sometimes their wrist is swollen. Patients with Carpal Tunnel often report some clumsiness when they try to grip things.
How do I diagnose Carpal Tunnel?
I use my palpation skills to feel for inflammation and swelling. I also evaluate the patient’s active and passive range of motion to determine if there's restricted motion in the wrist.
How do chiropractors treat Carpal Tunnel?
We may make chiropractic adjustments to help mobilize the bones in your wrist. This allows the bones to glide smoothly and removes pressure from the median nerve. We may also perform a stripping massage of your flexor muscles to help you regain flexibility in your wrist.
How long does it take to get relief from Carpal Tunnel?
Like all musculoskeletal conditions, the answer to “how long” is “it depends.” Your pregnancy stage and your diet both have a lot of influence on the treatment timeline. It could be a quick fix in one visit, or we could find more severe nerve compression and fluid build-up, which could require several visits.
“My work involves a lot of time spent at a desk. I was starting to have some tingling in my right hand from repetitive typing on a keyboard. I had a wrist adjustment from Dr. Michaela and I had immediate improvement. Luckily, my case wasn’t severe and I felt better fast!”
~Nicole P. HR Manager and Mother
What lifestyle changes help with Carpal Tunnel?
Wearing a splint at night is helpful. So is avoiding overuse activities, such as typing. It’s especially important to evaluate your ergonomics at work. Your keyboard and mouse set-up is most important to evaluate and fix if necessary.
Decreasing your salt intake and other diet modifications will help with fluid retention. We may also recommend a B-Complex vitamin, specifically with vitamin B6.
Carpal Tunnel during pregnancy is treatable with chiropractic.
Pregnancy can be full of joy and wonder. It’s also full of some unpleasant body changes that lead to uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, conditions. The good news is that there are treatments available that will reduce your pain and discomfort during this exciting and transformational life period.
Having some pain and discomfort in your hands or wrists? Make an online appointment.