26 answers

How to relief wrist pain during pregnancy?

Has anyone heard of these? I'm not having carpal tunnel, at least that's what the doctor told me, just numbness. She told me to go to Rite Aid or Longs and get wrist relief bands, said they were specifically for pregnancy and swelling. I've been to numerous stores and asked the pharmacist and they all look at me like I'm crazy. All I can find are support braces and carpal tunnel braces. I've been waking up all night long with one or both arms numb from the elbow down. My hands keep going numb through out the day and unfortunately my work is agravating it terribly. I'm a dental technician, so I sit at a bench, with my forearms resting on the bench, holding a handpiece. I can barely work for 5-10 minutes before I have to stop and wait for the feeling to come back. So the doctor told me to get something that doesn't seem to exist and I was wondering if anyone had heard of this. Thanks!!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Summary

It could be carpal tunnel, one that will go away within a couple months after giving birth. Some moms suggested to wear a wrist relief brace, while some suggested to go see a Occupational Therapist.

Featured Answers

Go to Jack's Drug Store in San Anselmo. They will tell you what will work best. If they don't have it, they will order it for you.

D.,
Maybe the doctor meant the braces instead. There are specialty stores that carry wheelchairs, they also carry all sorts of braces and such type things if you want to call one of them. That is what I had to wear when I had the carpal tunnel. My cousin is having the same problem, and can't wait to have the baby. I hope you can find some relief.
W. M.

More Answers

Hello D.,

Sorry to hear that you are having such a problem. It is hard enough to sleep at 7 months pregnant, let alone having to wake up because your hands are numb!

I am an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist and have treated many people with carpal tunnel syndrome including pregnant ladies. I even had it myself twice with both my pregnancies.

For most, it goes away after delivery. For some, it lingers because their hands are taxed in a new way after the birth. For example: holding baby, burping, feeding changing - all requiring the hand to be in positions which can make the hands go numb by restricting blood flow to the nerve.

The wrist braces place your wrist in neutral so that the blood supply to the nerve is optimized. The symptoms occur at night more often because your circulation slows down when you lay down.

Carpal tunnel typically affects the thumb, index, middle fingers and half of the ring finger, but everyone is different.

Perhaps a visit to a hand therapist in your area would be beneficial? You would need a referral from your doctor to go. Typically we see patients for 2-6 visits to educate and treat them and could give you advice on the best kind of splints. (The important thing is that they FIT correctly).

To find a therapist near you, (preferably a CHT or Certified Hand Therapist - they are typically Occupational Therapists OTR/L, CHT or Physical Therapists PT, CHT)

go to:
www.htcc.org (Hand Therapy Certification Commission)
Click on "CHT Directory"
or
www.asht.org (American Society of Hand Therapists)
Click on "Find a Therapist"

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any other questions.

Hope this helps,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Consider reaching out to medical supply companies that provide durable medical equipment (like Apria). There are
a number of smalled privately owned stores as well.

Then beyond that, go back to the marternity stores. I found back braces, bra extensions, and all kinds of nifty "tools" at their recommendation.

Good luck!

I obtained my braces through my chiropractor. They have support stays in them and secure with a velcro band for even more support. Cost was about $20 each. If you're in or near Los Gatos let me know and I'll give you contact information. There are also chiropractic techniques that can help. I'm happy to say that with chiropractic treatment, I've been symptom free for several years.

I had numbness and tingling with my second pregnancy. My OB said some people do develop the carpal tunnel and that it would go away after I delivered. She told me to get the carpal tunnel brace that goes around your hand/wrist/up your arm and connect with velcro. she said to wear them at night. I did but it really did not help that much. I hope that they work for you. Sure enough, after I had my daughter, the numbness and tingling did go away. Good luck.

I am a paralegal and have spent the majority of my time on the keyboard for well over 20 years. I also am having problems with numbness and tingling. Go back to Rite-Aid or Longs and get those wrist braces - they truly help. I use mine all the time now when I type whether I'm experiencing a problem or not. They really help. I have never heard of a "wrist relief band" but I can tell you from personal experience, the wrist supports work very well. Also, if you can try to change the angle you're holding your wrist in while holding the dental equipment, that might help. Again, I can't stress enough how much the wrist supports help. It certainly can't hurt for you to try it! I use one on each wrist - I call them my "typing uniform".

D.,
Maybe the doctor meant the braces instead. There are specialty stores that carry wheelchairs, they also carry all sorts of braces and such type things if you want to call one of them. That is what I had to wear when I had the carpal tunnel. My cousin is having the same problem, and can't wait to have the baby. I hope you can find some relief.
W. M.

I'm no doctor, but it sounds to me as though you do have carpal tunnel. I first suffered carpal tunnel six months after my child's birth at which time I had a difficult time carrying her. I'm a strong person, so this came as big shock.

It could well be that pregnancy and the recovering period after birth are times when nutrients normally allocated to certain regions, e.g. your extremities, have been diverted to the feeding of the baby and the womb. This could make your concentration on your job impossible over time. Many balances to which we are accustomed shift during the course of these several years.

In order to get over this as quickly as possibly, you might consider increasing your vitamin B intake, allowing yourself to take aspirin routinely and above all, rest. It's okay to ask people for help right now.

Go to Jack's Drug Store in San Anselmo. They will tell you what will work best. If they don't have it, they will order it for you.

I had awful numbness and pain in my hands and wrists while I was pregnant. I'm sure mine was carpal tunnel, but I did use wrist braces, all the time and when I was sleeping. They did help a lot. It took about a month after I delivered for my hands to return to normal.

OMG!! finally someone else having the same problem! I'm 33 wks and have been numb (progressivly worse) since about 16 wks. My doctors say it's preg induced carpal tunnel and it usually goes away after delivery. They told me to buy the wrist guards like the kind you get for rollerblading and it will help. I can't open the milk or anything... it sucks. I'm sorry I don't have better news or info. email me and let me know if yours goes away.
D.

I just purchased 2 very light weight theraputic support gloves with wrist support from Rite Aid for $9.99 each.They are for pain and\symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome,arthritis and tendonitis,poor circulation and RSIs.They are supposed to provide compression and trap in heat to aid with circulation. So far the glove has relieved some of the discomfort related to the symptoms that I have been experiencing in my hand and wrist since giving birth 6 weeks ago.
A little about me. First time mommy married with 6 weeks old beautiful boy and 3 step children ages 3,11 and 13.

Hi D.,
I have the same issues as you. When I sleep at night my hands and arms go numb too. I wear writst braces and that stops the numbing immediately! I don't wear them during the day, but you can if you want to. I bought mine at Longs/CVS and I believe most drug stores would carry it. Just ask to see their wrist brace isles.

It's called a splint wrist brace by Futuro. Here's the one I have: http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=142213&amp...

They are around $20. Totally worth it to sleep without having the numbness! GOOD LUCK!

I've never heard of them... but if you are having pain in your wrist... well, I use magnetic bracelets. I have a gal in Texas who makes them and they are reasonably priced ($15) and pretty... not like what you get in the store. Apparently the magnets help the oxygen flow in your veins. I don't know how they work but I have never had pain since I started wearing them... and that was in 2003.

Did you ask about these when you went to the store? Sometimes they put stuff in the weirdest places.

Another suggestion, which will appear out of left field, I'm sure... HAVE YOUR THYROID CHECKED! An out of whack thyroid gland (and pregnancy definitely affects it) could cause numbness and tingling in your hands and arms. Having proper thyroid levels is crucial during pregnancy especially, because the thyroid hormone affects baby's brain development.
It's a simple blood test for TSH levels and you can rule out that possible cause of your "carpal tunnel".

D.,
I am curious about when your numbness started? Based on your job description, this may not be pregnancy related but work related. In that case, you should file a workers' comp claim so your employer is responsible for the treatment. Your symptoms seem pretty severe for just being pregnancy related. The other posts recommended different wrist supports. I used the ones from Rite Aid.

Hi D.,

I gave birth to my first baby two months ago and when I was 7 months pregnant developed a similiar problem. It got worse and worse and did not disappear after I gave birth. My doctor had incorrectly diagnosed me with carpal tunnel. Since this is a common pregnancy related problem, she just assumed that my complaint was carpal tunnel. I asked to go to a Othopedic Surgeon who correctly diagnosed me with De Quervain's Tenosynovitis. Cortisone shots and physical therapy have made a world of difference! You might ask to go see an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist. Trust me - it was AWFUL trying to manage a new baby as a first time mom with hand and wrist pain and numbness. I constantly was worried that I would drop my daughter. Save yourself some grief now and see a specialist! Good Luck and congrats!

Congratulations on the baby soon! I had similar trouble with one wrist and the Dr told me to get a wrist support. He wrote a perscription for a fancy "medical" quality item ($75)and my insurance wouldn't pay so the pharmicist gave me some great advice. He told me it was the same thing as a sport wrist support so I went to the sporting goods store and for a lot less money ($12)I bought a skate board wrist guard. It has firm plastic strips and padding for comfort, and velcro to close it around my hand. I had a choice of sizes and a couple colors to choose from. I wore it to bed at night and when I was sitting around watching tv so I wouldn't bend my wrist too far and leave it that way for long periods of time. It help so much it was unbelievable. You might even find it helps at work.

Chiropratic care.... Chiropratic care.... Chiropratic care.... Chiropratic care.... I can't recommend it enough!! I had all kinds of numbness problems during my 1st pregnancy, especially past my 6th month. I went to a chiropractor on the recommendation from my midwife, not thinking it would help. Proved me wrong, and I've been seeing a chiropractor at least every 2 weeks since then! Can't say enough about how much it's helped EVERY area of my life!

I had this numbness too. It was terrible. It was worse at night for me. My hands would be so asleep with the tingling. I had a lot of water retention. It went away with the birth of my daughter. I just dealt with it so I am not much help but I thought just knowing it would be over soon would help.

Hi D.,

Numbness is a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a common "side effect" of pregnancy. If your numbness is in the first 3 fingers (thumb, pointer, and middle finger) chances are it is actually carpal tunnel. The wrist splints can be helpful to maintain a neutral position of the wrist and to avoid compression of the nerve. This in turn should decrease your numbness. The splints can be worn at night as a lot of us tend to "curl up" with our wrists bent down. This also compresses the nerve. Just watch out for reddened areas on your skin, as this could be a sign of pressure areas. Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!

Hi D.,

I used to wake up in the night with both arms numb from the elbow down mainly on the pinky/ring finger side. After awhile, the numbness continued in the day.

Here was my simple solution (after a web search): sleep with my arms straight. The daily numbness decreased over three or four nights and is now gone.

Sleeping with my arms curled up irritated a nerve the runs along the bottom of the elbow to the hands.

Good luck!

It seems that you might have a condition called TOS, If your numbness is more than your thumb index finger &tall finger.
Go on the web to find info about TOS. You should get a referal to an OT (occupational therapist)

D.,
I believe I know what you are talking about, its an elastic wristband that has velcro on the ends to attach after wrapping around your wrist. I have one of these it's from ACE brand. I have seen them in my local Rite Aid just look where they have all of the wristbraces and other support items. Look specifically for a wristbrace that is not fancy meaning no metal and doesn't go over the hand. This will look like the sweatband wristbands you see tennis players wear only its made out of elastic. It helped me many a times especially when my regular carpal tunnel brace was too bulky to wear. I hope this helps and you are able to find them. Let me know if you do.
W. H in Sacramento,Ca

I've go the same thing going on - I'm 35 weeks along and have been having this for at least the last 10-15 weeks. According to my doctor (and physical therapist and massage therapist) it is a form of carpal tunnel, but one that will go away within a couple months of giving birth. I really hope so! I've been sleeping in night time wrist support braces from Imak - I ordered them through drugstore.com because I've never seen them in stores. Unfortunately they don't make the numbness/pain go away, they help tremendously. I can feel a huge difference over the nights I forget about them (or just get too irritated with having to wear them that I skip them). I've never seen braces that are specifically designed for pregnancy, but most of the carpal tunnel braces mention being good for pregnancy symptoms as well.

Maybe you should ask your doctor if prenatal yoga would be beneficial. I'm a mom & also a prenatal yoga instructor and a few of my clients have been refered by their OB because of bad circulation. It would be worth asking. Also, if you do have carpal tunnel - yoga DOES help relieve the pain. And there ARE modified ways do the poses without putting strain on your wrists.

Hi D.
Congrats on your first baby. it DOES sound like you have the makings of carpal tunnel or at least tendonitis....even if just temporary, it should be taken seriously as it can get worse, I know this because I have severe tendonitis.. My advice would be to give your hands at a rest at work every 15 to 30 minutes (shake them out) and maybe even do some stretching.. stand up and allow your whole body (including spine) to really stretch out. The dilema isn't just in your arms and hands, although you are feeling it there, sometimes when we stay hunched over a desk all day, this causes our shoulders to slouch forward and because of that, we block nerves up in our necks and down thru our arms, hence the numbing sensation. Also, consider a massage for yourself at least once or every other week, this will help relieve some tension. Take care of this NOW because of you don't , even though the doctor says it "could" go away after the pregnancy, it may not or could flare up again.. I wish you the best..

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