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Carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy

(12 Posts)
prettyinpink90 Fri 28-Mar-14 05:02:14

I'm 37 weeks today with my first baby and carpal tunnel syndrome appeared over night about 2 weeks ago.
It's causing me so much pain and discomfort during the night that I'm waking every half hour. The only thing that eases it is to get up and walk around and run them under a cold tap for 5/10 minutes but even this only brings temporary relief and I'm up again around 20 minutes later.
My midwife couldn't offer much advice apart from referring me to a physio who can't see me until the day before I'm due and the Internet doesn't seem to say much about how to ease the pain.

Is there anyone who has suffered/is suffering with CTS that can give me done advice? I'm absolutely shattered and wondering how on earth I will get through childbirth on so little sleep sad

Stubbed Fri 28-Mar-14 05:15:17

I can sympathise, it's awful isn't it. It went a few weeks after birth for me, and during my second pregnancy only started after the baby was born (still have it 7 months later but it is improving)

Only thing that works for me is hanging my wrists over the edge of the bed. I used to cry with discomfort.

You can try wrist supports that you buy in boots, apparently these can help some people.

I had the same issue re physio referral and just had to sit it out. Luckily I had a section at 39 weeks, I just don't know how I could have gone for longer.

NorksofPlenty Fri 28-Mar-14 05:16:17

I had this with both dcs, it's horrible. With my first pregnancy anyone in my ante natal group with even a sniff of carpal tunnel was given wrist splints to wear. By my second, they were no longer provided on the nhs, but you can buy them online. Try googling wrist supports or wrist splints for carpal tunnel. I only had to wear them at night, but they helped sooooo much. Good luck, and good luck with your imminent new arrival!

AnythingNotEverything Fri 28-Mar-14 05:18:34

I had it towards the end but not as bad as you I don't think. I found resting the hand a lot during the day helped, and making sure I didn't make a fist with my hand when I slept.

Do you have a cold pack? I found a wheat bag helped.

I refused a referral as I was so far on, but I then went a week over and really could've done with a splint. I'd push for a closer appointment.

Once baby was born I developed tendonitis/mothers thumb. I don't knowing they we're directly related but it was the same hand. I think get the odd twinge 5 months later and wonder if I'd dealt with the carpal tunnel better it wouldn't have happened.

thereisnoeleventeen Fri 28-Mar-14 09:52:43

Wrist splits are good to sleep in, they keep the wrist straight which is what you need when you have CT, at night you can easily go to sleep in a funny position and wake up feeling worse.

I also found that it was at its worst with DC1 as I was working at a keyboard pretty much all day every day before I went on maternity leave and that made it much worse. Now I try and type as little as possible especially in the afternoon/evening.

It did go away after the birth though...and has then returned for each pregnancy.

ch1134 Fri 28-Mar-14 09:59:12

I have it and use wrist supports at night. They work.

MissSlackPants84 Fri 28-Mar-14 10:06:52

I sympathise with you all. I was under investigation as they believe I have carpel tunnel pre pregnancy. Unfortunately some of the testing to eliminate other conditions had to stop when I fell pregnant. I can't find anything to relieve the discomfort sad

MummytoMog Fri 28-Mar-14 11:34:36

Oh you poor thing. I'm waiting for mine to come back, had the numbness without much pain in my first pregnancy and the screaming agony, no sleep in my second.

Take paracetemol before you go to bed, buy those sticky on heat packs (for your back) and stick them on your wrists. Then sleep propped up by two pillows, with your arms straight in front of you, your wrists resting on a reusable heat pack each, hands not totally straight, just slightly tilted up. This will get you a few hours with any luck. Heat worked much better for me than cold water. I know why you want to try that, it's the old 'hands dipped in boiling oil' feeling, but heat will ease the pain off a bit better. I have the splints, but did not find them much of a help to be honest.

Stand up and put your arm out straight from the shoulder, palm facing forward. Then bend your wrist back as far as possible to the point where if you were near a wall, you could almost lean on it (so that your hand is at a right angle to your arm). Move your arm from your shoulder in little circles. Do it for a minute or two on each arm. Repeat several times a day on both sides. Bending your hands back will always help a bit, even if you can't tell straight away.

Drink gallons and gallons of water. It really will help, as water retention is part of what is causing the swelling in your carpal tunnel. You may find, like me, that it's also to do with a trapped nerve in your shoulder, and I found a lovely shoulder massage was amazing for that. In fact, do that anyway. It will make you feel better.

My first bout of CT (the not much pain, total loss of feeling bout) took about six months to go after birth. The second bout (agonising pain, hands dipped in boiling oil, couldn't sleep for weeks) went about three days after the birth completely, but was much better almost straight away (basically when I pee'd out all the pregnancy water retention).

FruitbatAuntie Fri 28-Mar-14 11:38:52

Horrible, isn't it? I had this with both my children, but in both cases it only began after I gave birth. Is that odd? My GP said it was common. It really didn't help me lift and carry around my babies, especially when my core muscles were shot at too due to 2 c-sections! I was terrified of dropping them, or dropping something onto them (mine was not horrifically painful, but very very numb).

FruitbatAuntie Fri 28-Mar-14 11:40:08

Oh I forgot to say, both times I had it, it gradually disappeared by the tie they were six months old or so. Hmm, that might not comfort you right now, sorry. If you get it in pregnancy it's likely to pass off after you give birth, I was told.

hazeldawn Fri 28-Mar-14 13:40:06

Had out with dc1 it went a few days after birth dc2 it developed when they were 2/3 Weeks eased a lot till they were 2 I had surgery on one hand last year although i'm now getting the tingling in that hand but no pain but i've woken most mornings for the past week i'm only 17wks with numb hands so guess i'm going to have to get used to it again. Was hoping to have second hand done this summer not sure they will do it now i'm pregnant

prettyinpink90 Fri 28-Mar-14 19:03:08

Thank you for all of your advice ladies, it's a fantastic help!

I rang my GP this morning to see whether they could do anything (I'm guessing not) but they can't see me until next week. I also nipped into Boots to pick up some wrist splints but they didn't stock them confused. Can anyone advise on where I might be able to find them?

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