Why am I having tingling and numbness in my hands during pregnancy?
These sensations are most likely caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Although you probably associate this condition with people whose jobs require repetitive hand movements (such as data processors, computer programmers, and assembly-line workers), it’s also more prevalent in pregnant women.
Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, pain, or a dull ache in the fingers, hand, or wrist. These symptoms tend to come and go and are often worse at night. Occasionally, the discomfort may even extend to the forearm and upper arm. In severe or chronic cases, your hand may feel clumsy or weak.
Symptoms usually affect both hands and can appear at any time, but they’re more likely to begin or worsen in the second half of pregnancy when women tend to retain more fluid. The symptoms usually go away gradually after you give birth, as the swelling from pregnancy subsides.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy?
The carpal tunnel is a bony canal formed by the wrist bones on three sides and a ligament that runs across the wrist on the other. The fluid retention and swelling that’s so common during pregnancy can increase the pressure in this relatively narrow and inflexible space, compressing the median nerve that runs through it.
The median nerve gives sensation to the thumb and the index, middle, and half of the ring finger and is responsible for movement of a muscle at the base of the thumb. Pressure on this nerve causes the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel is very common in pregnant women. Here are a few exercises to help get instant relief for your wrist!