During pregnancy, a women’s body accumulates a lot of extra fluid. Some of this fluid can cause pressure on the nerves that pass through the wrist to the hands, and you may find that you wake up in the morning with numbness and/or pins and needles in your fingers. Holding a pen or the telephone for even a short period can be very uncomfortable. It is usually mild, but in some cases can be so painful that sleep is disturbed and hand movements are extremely restricted. Most women find that their Carpal Tunnel Syndrome disappears a few weeks after the birth of their baby.
- Swing your arms vigorously for a few minutes first thing in the morning – raise them upwards and wiggle your fingers about. Hold the hands over your head and move in a circular motion clockwise, then anticlockwise, for a couple of minutes.
- Keep your hands raised as much as possible during the day.
- Avoid writing, using a keyboard, or being on the telephone for any length of time. Ask your employer to supply you with a wrist-rest to keep by your computer.
- Be aware of your posture. In particular don’t slouch over your desk or table.
- Put your hands in a basin of hot or cold water, or alternate from hot to cold.
- If you really cannot manage the discomfort, ask for a referral to a physiotherapist. You may need splints and padding to help with the swelling.
- Sleep with your arm on a pillow at night. Keep the hand facing slightly down with the wrist resting on the edge of the pillow.
- Ask your partner to massage the bottom of your arm and hands, using his thumbs, from the inside of your wrist outwards and down.
- Kneel on your hands and knees, lean your body forward stretching your wrists out, hold for a few seconds.
- Some women find relief with acupuncture treatment.
- There is an acupressure point on the hand know as LU10. This point is located on the fleshy inside pad of the hand, at the base of the thumb. Press firmly with your other thumb and hold in position for about 5 to 8 seconds. This can be done a few times in the morning and repeated throughout the day.