Tingling or Achy Hands and Wrists
If you are experiencing any pain or numbness in your wrists, it is most likely due to carpal tunnel syndrome. These unpleasant feelings in your hands are the result of swelling of the carpal tunnel, the tube that houses the nerves running to your hands and fingers. This swelling compresses the nerves and causes pain in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger on one or both hands. Jobs that require repetitive hand movements, like typing, can also aggravate carpal tunnel pain.
You may also experience:
- pins and needles
- a weakened grip
- aching in your lower forearm
- a burning sensation in your fingers, especially your thumb
Carpal tunnel usually appears in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, when your hands are most likely to swell. The good news is that most symptoms will disappear after your baby is born. In the meantime, try these simple tips to help relieve pain from carpal tunnel:
- Get the circulation going – Shake your hands out to get the blood moving.
- Stretch – Stretching out your wrists can help minimize the tingling and numbness. Try to remember to flex your fingers and hands throughout the day.
- Raise your hands – Try to sit with your hands above your head and see if this reduces the swelling in your wrists and hands. This can reduce the amount of pain that you are experiencing.
- Wear a hand brace – This extra support may be quite helpful if your occupation requires repetitive hand movements. Your doctor will be able to suggest a brace or splint appropriate to your needs. If you work at a computer, try adjusting your workstation so that your wrists are level when you type.
Though these symptoms are likely to resolve on their own after your baby is born, the pain can be unbearable for some women. If you find that the pain is increasingly uncomfortable and beginning to interfere with your daily routine or your ability to sleep, you may want to consult your physician.
It is important to avoid taking any unprescribed medications while pregnant, no matter how much it hurts. Your doctor will be able to suggest a course of action that will not interfere with the healthy development of your baby.