Holy carpal tunnel and wrist swelling! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-03-2014, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 37 weeks today and about a week ago started having pain in my arms while asleep. I wake up with my arms tingling or burning. I know that carpal tunnel can be common in pregnancy. My chiro adjusted my wrists and gave a little massage last week, I have been treating with hot and cold water baths for the wrists before bed, but it is just getting worse. Now it is bothering me throughout the day as well. If I elevate my arms at all, they fall asleep. Most sleeping positions cause them to fall asleep. I have tried a wrist brace on the right hand, and it has done virtually nothing to help (still wake up with arm asleep). I get the numbness/tingling/burning in the thumb and first 3 fingers, and the pain radiates all the way to the elbow. I feel like it may be the ulnar nerve at times too, since sometimes the pinky and top of other finger affected.

 

Anything else that could help? Or do I just have to suffer through? I can hardly even cut meat with a knife anymore it hurts so much, and of course same story with washing dishes, painting, and all the other things I am doing.


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#2 of 10 Old 03-07-2014, 10:55 PM
 
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I'm sorry, that's awful.  I had bad carpal tunnel with my first pregnancy, but thankfully not with my second.  It took awhile to resolve after giving birth, and then I had tendonitis in my wrists for awhile afterwards. I don't have any suggestions other than to be careful what pressure you put on your elbows when you sleep.

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#3 of 10 Old 03-08-2014, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply! The forums are much quieter than they used to be! Bummer that it took a while to go away! I suspect that will happen to me too.

 

I started wrapping each elbow before I go to bed with an ace bandage, and that has really helped -- I still have swelling and discomfort, but I have not been waking up with numb/burning hands anymore. I still can't cut with a knife first thing in the morning without pain, but again, it is still much better.


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#4 of 10 Old 03-17-2014, 02:59 PM
 
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Porcelina, did you choose that handle because of the Smashing Pumpkins song? It's my all time favorite song so I had to ask. :)

 

I had carpel tunnel during my first pregnancy fairly bad. It was caused by knitting like crazy plus all the swelling and weight gain. 

 

For whatever reason, I haven't gained nearly as much weight this pregnancy and I wonder if that is why I'm not experiencing carpel tunnel. I'm still knitting! I am not suggesting you have gained too much weight of course, but it's amazing how pregnancies can really vary from one to the next, and all we can do is wonder...

 

The only relief I found was in giving birth. Good luck and know you are not alone! 

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#5 of 10 Old 03-18-2014, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lightgarden, lol, the only relief you found was in giving birth!! That is kindof the mantra I have been hearing!! But, actually, I was reading some old posts on here and found someone recommended icing the heck out of the inside of the elbow (for the cubital tunnel) and wrist for carpel tunnel, and did this last night and this morning. It has actually made a difference! This morning I zipped up DS's jacket, and drove him to school without pain! (usually I have felt discomfort when using the steering wheel) I also felt the tips of my fingers again for the first time in a while! And last night was not nearly as bad as the previous nights. Not to say it is perfect -- I still get the symptoms, but it is a slight improvement and even that is awesome. So, I am going to do really frequent icing from here on out.

 

RE the Smashing Pumpkins song, I don't even know it! What does it say about porcelina? I picked it because it was the name of one of the flowers at DH's and my wedding 10 years ago!!


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#6 of 10 Old 03-18-2014, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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and thanks for your old post, @StarMama!!!!


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#7 of 10 Old 03-18-2014, 07:01 PM
 
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Oh yes I DO remember that whenever my hands were cold (from being outside and whatnot) they hurt FAR less!! And it never occurred to me to actually ice my damn hands. Yeesh that would have been smart. At least you found something that works!!

 

Porcelina in the Smashing Pumpkins song is sort of a sea siren character. It's just beautiful prose and dynamic music.

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#8 of 10 Old 03-23-2014, 10:23 PM
 
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Oh no! I had that with my last pregnancy! It was bad. Constantly waking up with that pain! greensad.gif sorry you're going through it. I treasure the day that my midwife suggested a wrist brace. I know you said you tried it but I just wanted to make sure (to help you) that it's not just an ace bandage and that youre trying the type that doesnt let you bend your wrist, like it has a hard plate and makes your hand and wrist stay in a straight line constantly. I know the same thing doesn't work for everyone but I wanted to make sure bc it made a huge difference for me. AND I wore it 100% of the time! Not just at night. Have you tried that?

Now I have a super foggy memory and can barely remember this so bear with me wink1.gif...i think The carpal tunnel pain has something to do with the veins (??) In your wrist becoming pinched and so the fluids in your body recirculating (esp at night) cause all this havoc. ...I think... lol. But it's something like that so that when I wore the brace 24/7 it would help the whatever's in my wrist from becoming pinched and allow the fluid/blood to flow properly. Does that make sense? I know, I know horribler explanation! I almost didn't respond to your post bc I couldn't remember how to explain it but then I thought, oh well I will try because if it helps you in any way than it's worth it! And I slept with my hand elevated the whole night but that technique didn't work until *after* I started wearing the arm brace. Good luck!

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#9 of 10 Old 04-18-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Philothea! Thanks for your message -- I have been meaning to write back!

 

So, here is my update! I was so ready to go into labor so that the CPS would go away! I had two false starts and finally gave birth at 40w+1d, which of course is almost on the early side! The CPS made labor a bit more difficult because I could not sustain the hands and knees position I knew works well for me -- hurt too much. Also, they wanted me to push from that position, but it was too hard. So I did side-lying labor instead. It all worked out okay! But, the CPS did NOT go away as everyone said it would after the delivery. In fact, it got much worse. I went from having tingly fingers to tingly hands. Of course, I was using my hands even more than before for the baby care! Finally, I got the advice of a colleague who is also a doctor, and he said take 2 aleve twice a day, and wear splints 100% of the time! So, even though I thought it sounded ridiculous to try to do that, while holding baby and changing diapers, I renewed my efforts, bought 2 brand new splints (with good reviews on amazon), since I only had the right hand before, and put myself to the task. And, after 9 days of the aleve, and 7 days of almost 24 hour per day splinting, I started to feel my fingertips again! I am definitely sold on the 24 hour per day splinting! Now, when I take them off, I start to feel the discomfort right away, and I really, really need the splints! So, I think, Philothea, your advice was right on target -- if I could go back and do this during pregnancy, I would, as it would have been a lot easier!! (without the aleve during pregnancy of course) I have not fully recovered, of course, and still need the splints in order to avoid pain and discomfort, but the numbness at night is now gone, and as I said, the constant tingling in the hands is gone.

 

So, if anyone ever finds this post suffering from the same thing, definitely get yourself a couple of wrist splints and do 24 hour splinting for your wrists!!


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#10 of 10 Old 05-30-2014, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Updating again! At 6 weeks post partum I definitely felt some improvement. I had to spend some time in the hospital unexpectedly with my older son and I did not wear the splints for the first time. At that point I pretty much stopped using them during the day. At 2 months, I have noticed marked improvement for sure. I still use the splints at night, and when I forget (after holding baby in the night or just too tired), I notice the difference in the morning. But I feel muuuuch better! The midwife at my 6 wk post partum visit said it was quite common for it to get worse before it got better. Wish I had known!!
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