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Developing carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy

Updated on November 20, 2011

By now you've probably gotten over the majority of your morning sickness, you may be feeling more energetic. Just when things are looking up, you now face the next horror of your second trimester.

Usually starting around week 25, pregnant women can develop carpal tunnel syndrome and this can continue to about a week after you deliver your child. You may have carpal tunnel if your hands frequently go numb, have a burning sensation, they tingle, and you feel as if you cannot grip anything. This will usually begin during the night, but as the problems develop, symptoms are felt during the day.

Carpal tunnel occurs in plenty of people that aren't pregnant, although women are three times as more likely to develop it anyway, but the reason you may be getting it is because a tunnel of ligaments and bones in your wrist (known as the carpal tunnel... hence the name of the syndrome), become swollen, just like much of the rest of your body is at this stage. The swelling of these tissues causes pressure to be put on the median nerve, which controls the sensation for the palms of your hands. It can also cause pain to radiate up your arm.

There's not much to do for carpal tunnel syndrome, besides using a wrist splint. These can be found at most general department stores and drug stores such as Rite-Aid and are fairly inexpensive.

Mention it to your doctor at your next visit. Odds are, he'll suggest you not to worry unless it doesn't go away during the couple of months after pregnancy. It could possibly get worse and permanent nerve damage could occur if the condition persists.


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