Carpal tunnel is an injury associated with overuse of your hands, the symptoms of which are tingling and pain. During pregnancy, these symptoms are not associated with overuse, but fluid retention and swelling.
Causes of Hand Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Your body holds on to plenty of fluid, especially during the final trimester of pregnancy. Your feet and ankles may swell noticeably, but hands and wrists are also susceptible to fluid retention. Extra fluid puts pressure on the nerves of the hands and wrists, which can lead to carpal tunnel or hand pain.
Important Facts About Hand Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Fluid retention will last some time after giving birth, so you need to be careful when lifting your baby. Hand pain or carpal tunnel in pregnancy can leave you with sharp pains and numbness. Repetitive hand movements can lead to further pain.
Treatment for Hand Pain, Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy
Working with a computer and keyboard will certainly increase the symptoms of hand pain or carpal tunnel. If possible, rest for a few minutes and use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse while working on a computer. Sleeping on your hands at night will increase pain and tingling and can often interrupt sleep patterns. Propping up hands with a pillow at night is one way to help ease the swelling associated with carpal tunnel symptoms in pregnancy.
Wrist braces and acupuncture are direct interventions that may help ease pain a bit. Wrist braces work to compress the wrist joint and prevent retention of water in the area.