Thursday, December 1, 2011

Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy

Update: August 10th, 2015~ Because I get so many hits on this link I want to update helpful ways I've found to deal with carpal tunnel in pregnancy. This post was made during my 5th pregnancy. In my 6th pregnancy, carpal tunnel returned and I was able to manage it well with chiropractic treatment. It was really severe, I wore the wrist braces and tried to be cautious how I used my hands or slept. It ran all the way up into my shoulder. This was the first pregnancy that I saw a chiropractor and I have great success seeing the chiro when it flared up really bad. After a visit or two it would improve and then I wouldn't get an adjustment until it flared up again. My chiro is careful to only adjust me when needed and where needed. For my carpal tunnel he mostly just adjusted my wrist and hands. I also found that stretching my wrist was helpful. Hold your arm straight out in front of you palm facing forward, fingers pointing toward the sky. With the opposite hand pull back on your fingers and stretch the wrist back and then press fingers down with palm facing you. Also, place hands together, palms facing as if you are praying, elbows straight out and press the hands toward each other.
I hope this is helpful!

I've had a nasty flare up of carpal tunnel and it is wicked.  I've been trying to rest my hands as much as possible and not strain them, but things like picking up my 22 pound baby hinder that plan.  Even the slightest movements make it worse, I know most people probably don't care for the details, but it's hard to find much info online about pregnancy induced carpal tunnel.  Everything I read doesn't sound nearly as bad as what I have, maybe some one else is searching for info and case is similar to mine.
This is my forth pregnancy of having it, each time it gets worse and more severe.  The first and second time I had it, I managed it fine.  It was a nuisance but nothing I couldn't ignore.  This time around, my wrist hurt terrible and the pain shoots up my arms into my shoulders, then I become very tense in my upper back and neck.  Sleeping on my sides isn't an option because it cuts off the circulation and makes things much worse.  Right now I'm sleeping on my back which isn't normal for me or recommended during pregnancy, but it's all I can do.
Icing them has helped tremendously and I really should do it more often.  Heat feels good in the moment but soon after, they hurt worse.  Right now it is in both of my hands, I'm hoping it will subside some, it came and went periodically in my last pregnancy, but I think that may have been because I didn't have a baby to lift and carry then.
Things that require lifting my hands over my head, like getting into cabinets, decorating a Christmas tree and things like turning the lid to the peanut butter jar, transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer or talking on the phone hurt and make it worse.
Taking Motrin would probably help me out greatly, but only Tylenol is allowed during pregnancy.  Tylenol has never had much effect on my ailments even when I'm not pregnant.
I wear hand braces while I sleep and often during the day but for the most part I don't see that they help.  If anyone has any secrets I'd love to hear them, but I have yet to meet many people who understand what I'm talking about when I say I'm having severe carpal tunnel.
I'm hoping to get them well soon, until then I've been asking the kids to lift and pick up as much as I can, which sounds better than it is.  Holding a heavy camera is also on the do-not-push-it-list but here are a few of the recent pictures of Brady.  He turns one on Tuesday!!


Sarann said...

I'm sorry that you are in so much pain. For the sleeping I have heard that women with bad heartburn/reflux find relief sleeping in a recliner. Maybe that would work for your sleeping since it would not have you on your sides, and not in a completely flat-on-your-back position that would cause the baby to pinch off your leg nerves.

Brady is so cute, love the photos!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your hands, I will add ya to my prayer list. I think all of your children are beautiful but I just love that little guys smile and red hair. Such a cutie!

Bernadette said...

Sorry to hear about the preggo pains! We will definately pray for you! Have you tried a chiropractor? I know it may sound wierd, but with everything moving and adjusting and giving way for life, it all compounds and you have added stress that a realignment can fix. There was one across from Kohl's-ish that i went to after i had Amazra. He was very kind and reasonably priced. If you go to his website (you would have to look him up in a phone book because i cant remember his name! But he is on 31W) he has a coupon for your first visit to be free!

BARBIE said...

I am sorry to hear this. I am praying for healing for you!

Sweats, Nikes, and No Make-up said...

Dr. Wolf treats Carpal Tunnel - you may want to try to get in to see him if you can.

Miranda said...

Melissa, I think the only treatment for CTS is surgery and I know that isn't an option while pregnant.
Bernadette, thanks. I've seriously been contemplating a chiro, something I said I'd never do! :) But I just woke up from another miserable night barely able to move and anything sounds pretty good right now. Hope you all are well!!!

SailorMoon said...

I had it with all 3 of my pregnancies and still do!! I can't talk on the phone for more than a minute and my hand goes numb. My kids are 20, 18 and 10, so it's been hanging around a while. I think being extremely overweight doesn't help. I just deal with it, someday I'll lose the weight and see, I type for a living and it doesn't bother me, though mine is mainly the numbness (with pain) but yours seems more painlike. Although, out of the blue I'll grab something and sharp pain just shoots through my hand and one day it hurt for about 5 days. I'll wake up in the middle of the night and its so numb it hurts. If you find a way to get rid of it without surgery, let me know. I can't afford it nor can afford to be out of work. Hang in there, praying for ya!!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. The descriptions of the preggo CTS does not detail the pain I am in. My wrist has gotten so weak I cant even pick up a dinner plate... its paining me all of the time, the numbness at night isnt even my complaint anymore, its more the pain and sleepless nights because of the pain! :( Seems like there is nothing anyone can do while pregnant. The splints are no good, not sure if they make it worse even! I type all day for work too, not the best thing.

Miranda said...

I ended up seeing a physical therapist and they were able to give me some exercises that helped some. One is a prayer pose, palms flat together and elbow parallel to the floor, pressing down. Perhaps you can google CTS exercises, as there were more but difficult to explain in writing. Hope you are better soon, the good news is the CTS seemed to come suddenly and then disappear suddenly, it wasn't constant my entire pregnancy.

Patricia Wannamaker said...

ughhhhh I know what you mean :( I found your blog looking for help with severe carpal tunnel during pregnancy my hands and forarms hurt so bad........ finding a slight numbness all day weakness and at night waking in pain 6-7 times only getting mild relief when I get up and go to the bathroom but it quickly returns when I lay down :( this is my 8th pregnancy and had it with the previous 3 but never to this extent :( my youngest is 9 and I am due in April