The Link Between Pregnancy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Oddly enough, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and pregnancy go together. Out of the approximate 4% of the population that develops this condition, 31-62% are pregnant. The symptoms usually occur after your 30-week gestation period.

Our team of orthopedic surgeons at Crescent City Orthopedics in Metairie, Louisiana, has the expertise to determine the source of your CTS and treat it successfully. 

Symptoms of CTS during pregnancy

You tend to retain fluid and gain weight when you're pregnant as your body gets closer to the birthing stage. If you develop CTS, one or both of your hands can experience:

It can affect your fingers, hands, and wrists, making it difficult to grip objects or perform certain tasks with coordination. 

How CTS occurs

You have a median nerve that travels from your neck down your arm and through your carpal tunnel that’s in your wrist. When the tunnel closes in due to swelling around it, the nerve gets compressed and can cause pain and other uncomfortable issues to your wrist, hands, and fingers. 

Why CTS is more prominent in pregnant women

When you’re pregnant, you can experience gestational diabetes and hypertension, which can cause you to hold fluid, swell, and gain weight. As your body adds weight, CTS can develop as the inflammation puts pressure on your carpal tunnel.

Treatment for CTS during pregnancy

Our team offers a non-surgical approach to your healing. Once diagnosed with CTS, when you’re in our care, we may recommend that you:

We also have stretching exercises that you can practice for a few minutes throughout the day. The movements can ultimately protect your wrists and possibly reduce your need for surgery. If you have a severe CTS condition, our orthopedic surgeons may recommend a surgical procedure to release the pressure from your median nerve.

Your issues from CTS should be completely resolved within 12 months after your delivery. If your symptoms continue, our team works with you on a proactive plan to give you the relief you need.

If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, contact us today. Call the nearest location to you, or request your appointment online. You can also send us a message if you have questions before you come in. We’re here to help!

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