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Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a B*tch

Just like for most women, pregnancy wasn't easy for me. Right from the beginning I had edema in my hands, feet, and ankles. As a chiropractor, I am on my feet most of the day and doing a lot of physical work. As much as I try to avoid repetitive use injuries, I'm usually in the same positions and performing the same motions over and over. People who are not pregnant may also get carpal tunnel syndrome if they are typing, writing, or doing other fine motor movements with their hands. I developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands fairly early in pregnancy.

With carpal tunnel issues, you can experience sharp pain, swelling, weakness, numbness, tingling, or all at once. It occurs when the median nerve runs from the forearm into the hand and becomes compressed or pinched as it passes through the carpal tunnel—a narrow passageway in the wrist. This interfered with my sleep and work. All products listed have been tried by myself personally and used on my patients

1. Propping yourself up and your arms up while sleeping, keeping yourself as neutral as possible.

2. Wrist braces. I had to use different ones throughout my pregnancy. They started off small and then kept getting bigger and more supportive the further along I got. This is one I would have to wear every night

3. Icing your wrists and hands. I like to recommend 15 minutes on the area and 30 minutes off. You can repeat this as often as you like. Just make sure to have something in between your skin and the ice.

4. Massaging them such as having your partner rub your hands. You can also use a Gua Sha tool with lotion or a balm.

5. Having your wrists adjusted by a licensed doctor of Chiropractic. Chiropractors are trained in treating extremities. There are techniques we can use to adjust the small joints within the hand, particularly the ones that are near the Carpal Tunnel. When checking out Chiropractors in your area, ask if they adjust extremities!

6. Sometimes the pain is so unbearable that women may also choose to get an injection into the carpal tunnel region. Ask your Health Care Provider what is safe during pregnancy

All of these work well even if you are not pregnant. I also like to recommend gentle hand stretches if you are using our hands frequently throughout the day.

For more questions, please reach out at

-Dr. Ariel Blackburn



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