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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome...

(23 Posts)
MsChanandlerBong Wed 17-Aug-11 14:35:10

Does anyone else have it, and if so what have you done to alleviate the symptoms?


jasmine51 Wed 17-Aug-11 16:18:32

Yes I do - gentle stretching has helped but I'm now 8 wks past the birth and I still have it to varying degrees. I find that if I stretch in all directions several times a day it doesnt bother me so much. It is at its worst in the mornings after a night of innactivity. Is that the same for you?

milibear Wed 17-Aug-11 16:19:50

I had some physio which really helped. My therapist worked on my neck, which is where the median nerves' movements were being compromised, which translated all the way down the wrist.

pruney1977 Wed 17-Aug-11 16:40:00

I had it pre-pregnancy for 18 months in both hands, had physio, wore splints and took painkillers. In the end I got the decompression surgery (actually had the surgery the day my last period was due but pregnancy test on the day came back negative and didn't find out till 5 days later that was actually pregnant!). So nice now not being woken up in the night by it and being able to hold things reliably without worrying of dropping them - particularly glad about the latter, I wonder how I'd hold my baby for long periods had I not had the op.

MsChanandlerBong Wed 17-Aug-11 17:12:28

Thanks for the replies.

Jasmine - I'm the same. First thing in the morning is terrible. I can't brush my teeth for about an hour as there is no way I can hold a toothbrush. Even getting out of bed is a struggle, as not being able to use my stomach muscles properly I had been pushing myself up with my hands, but that just puts way too much strain on my wrists - ouch! When you say stretching, do you mean of your hands/wrists?

Milibear - How did you find out the cause was in your neck? I had assumed it was in my wrists... due to how it feels and what I have read on the NHS website. And what sort of work did they do on your neck? Massage type stuff?

Pruney - 18 months!!!!!! I have had it for about 2 weeks and it is doing my head in! I don't know how you coped for that long, you poor thing! I am hoping and praying this is just pregnancy related - I am due in 4 weeks time so hopefully it will disappear once the baby is here. How long did it take you to recover from the surgery?

Ungratefulchild Wed 17-Aug-11 17:15:19

I had it with both pregnancies and it persisted or a long time after the births. Only after stopping breastfeeding did it go completely.

I had steroid injections first time round which were horrible but did help in the short term. Second time I had splints and physio. Both helped but didn't cure.

MsChanandlerBong Wed 17-Aug-11 17:22:04

Oh no! I thought it would go after giving birth. Am not liking the thought of feeling like this for months longer sad

Ilovekittyelise Wed 17-Aug-11 18:12:16

oh no. i also thought it would go after giving birth. mines not too hideous.....for now.

MamaChoo Wed 17-Aug-11 18:13:54

Mine went after the birth, but beforehand i had to wear splints 24/7. Nice.

MsChanandlerBong Wed 17-Aug-11 18:17:55

Is it weight related does anyone know? I have put on quite a bit of weight (not all pregnancy related... quite a bit of it is biscuit related!!) so if I make sure to lose weight after the birth is that likely to speed up the recovery?
[desperate emoticon]

redfoxy Wed 17-Aug-11 18:37:00

Carpal tunnel is all about the pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the ligament ("carpal tunnel") in the wrist. Not sure if it's weight related but it can be related to fluid retention. I had it when I was pregnant and it went away, but for me it returned due to my work and i suffered with it for almost a year before I had the release surgery. stretching helps a lot, refer yourself to physio, you might be lucky and get an appointment if your dr's surgery where you live is not too overstretched, splints help too.

yawningbear Wed 17-Aug-11 18:45:45

I had it terribly badly wihen pregnant with DD and from early on but strangely not at all with DS. Had splints and physio but in the end it was acupuncture that worked for me. Had two treatments a week for the last 3-4 weeks so it was expensive but I felt that it was totally worth it. I didn't put on a huge amount of weight and wasn't overweight to begin with so not sure it is down to that. I had been told it was likey to be disappear once I had given birth and it did, hope you can find some way to help with it, tis horrible.

milibear Thu 18-Aug-11 05:31:52

The physio did what they call an upper limb tension test which tests the extensibility of the nerves. He tested to see if my neck positioning affected how well the nerve slid down my whole arm and hand. He mobilised my neck joints( not manipulated) and did some soft tissue work along the path of the nerve - upper arm, forearm. I also had to be careful with my neck posture.
He thought it was a combination of extra fluid from the pregnancy plus nerve extensibiltity issues from neck. His train of thought was to get to the root of the prob-i.e neck joint stiffness to improve nerve mobility. Healthy, slippery nerve = no pins and needles!

JBrd Thu 18-Aug-11 16:29:54

I got it towards the end of my pregnancy, and it's only now just gone (DS is 12 weeks). During pregnancy, I found that having massages and reflexology treatments really helped - not the cheapest way of treatment, I realise, but sooo nice! Since DS's arrival, I have been drinking lots of nettle tea to promote getting rid of excess fluids, and it seems to have helped.

wheelshavefallenoffthebus Thu 18-Aug-11 19:58:20

Am a Physio. Apparently it's due to the increase in fluid putting pressure on the median nerve. We tend to give out wrist splints. There are some nhs physios like myself trained in acupuncture if this is something you'd like to try. May be worth asking your dr for a referral? I think it takes a while after giving birth for things to improve naturally as fluid levels change. Hope you get some treatment that helps, must be horrible.

MsChanandlerBong Thu 18-Aug-11 22:34:33

I am seeing the midwife tomorrow morning so I am going to speak to her to see if she can refer me, or whether I have to see a doctor. It seems to be getting worse. I am massively uncomfortable now, and the thought that i will last significantly beyond the birth is not good. In fact, I have been quite teary about it today.

Thanks for all the advice - much appreciated.

pruney1977 Thu 18-Aug-11 22:56:23

MsChanandlerBong I had both hands done at the same time (so I didn't have to have 2 lots of time off from work) and the stitches came out after 10 days and I had 2 weeks off work. Couldn't drive until I had the stitches out. I'm a carer so do quite physical work and I still had some problems using my hands to lift heavy stuff but that was more because of the scar being quite tender. The only reason I could have both hands done at the same time though was because my husband had the time off to look after me as I couldn't wash myself (you have to keep the stitches dry), nor could I go to the toilet or even dress myself. I got the use back in my hands gradually, each day I could do a bit more but overall I was very pleased with my quick recovery and so glad I managed to get it all done and dusted before I found out I was pregnant because I've heard pregnancy can make it worse and I don't know how I'd have supported the baby's neck and head whilst breast feeding, my hands were really that unreliable.
I never had the steroid injections as my doctor felt they were a waste of time as the effect is only temporary.
It is sometimes related to weight gain, and also underactive thyroid (I'm afflicted with both).

wheelshavefallenoffthebus Fri 19-Aug-11 08:26:12

Referral to Physio is normally from the GP although some areas let you self refer. You should be seen as a priority as you are pregnant. Hope you get some good help soon smile

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 19-Aug-11 09:00:48

I also had carpal tunnel syndrome while pregnant with DS (and I am hoping against hope that it will not surface again this time) and I could feel it ease within hours of giving birth!

I had acupuncture and splints fitted, but nothing seemed to ease it... other than giving birth.

Annie456 Fri 19-Aug-11 09:27:53

I'm 38+5 and mentioned it to my midwife yesterday-he said "I can refer you for physio which will take about 2 weeks..." errr in 2 weeks I'll either be 40+5 or have a newborn, not really the time to be trekking into town for physio thanks!! Luckily it will be covered by my health insurance if I still have problems post birth. For now, i'm taking paracrtamol during the night if it's really bad..

MsChanandlerBong Fri 19-Aug-11 13:32:05

Well the midwife recommended I contact the Physio dept at the hospital as I have an 'open appointment' with them following a PGP session with them earlier in this pregnancy. Spoke to them and there seems to be some sort of confusion about whether or not I can go and see them without being referred by my GP. So I am waiting for them to get back in touch to let me know what to do.

Only managed 3 hours sleep last night due to discomfort which isn't helping with my general mood and wellbeing today! Annie - as with you, I was hoping to see someone pre-baby arrival but I guess my best hope is that like Alliwant it disappears post-birth.

I would cross my fingers but I can't cos I can't feel my sodding fingers. confused

jimmijam Fri 19-Aug-11 21:42:07

hi, have only read 1st 2 posts, but i have it, saw nurse at my surgery who referred my to physiotherapist at local hospital (they do next day appointments). she gave me splints-tho my hands feel a little odd in the mornings the sypmtoms have all but gone!!! no more waking in the night with tingly fingers etc and symptoms during the day have comlpetely gone. good luck

KatyN Mon 22-Aug-11 14:02:00

I've suffered with this from my teens and have had a couple of attacks whilst pregnant.
I find that a tubi-grip on my wrist works wonders.. but I need to wear it for 24hrs to get the swelling to go down properly. I also do NOTHING with the wrist that is painful while I'm wearing the tubigrip.. DH has to cut up my food etc!

Mine is aggrivated by certain actions.. forexample I can't use a normal mouse at work (i'm a computer programmer.. I type all day), and I can't write with a watch on because the weight is too much for my wrist. You might want to see if there's anything specific that sets it off (and stop doing it!)

In terms of weight gain.. I gained (and then lost) aboud 3 stone a few years ago and it didn't make any difference to my wrists!

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