Q: I would like to know how to treat pregnancy induced carpal tunnel and what causes some pregnant women to get it.
I sought the help of a chiropractor and with great success, even after working in the massage business for five years, the condition has not reoccurred. Chiropractic adjustments, massage, stretching, reducing stress, good nutrition, and adequate rest are all recommended. A drugless approach is best; the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on drugs has stated that "there is no drug either by prescription, over the counter or food additive that has ever been proven safe for the unborn baby."
Carpal tunnel seems to have become a catch-all term for wrist pain. I am an exercise physiologist so I treated my wrist pain after my son was born as an overuse injury, e.g. tendonitis. It responded well to ice (I did this while nursing), rest (especially when nursing it is important to use a nursing pillow or many pillows), and what really helped for the long term was chiropractic adjustments. Make sure that when carrying your baby you switch sides so that both wrists, arms, hips, etc., share the work. And acupuncture is extremely effective for soft tissue injuries, which this usually is.
Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 1 Issue 48, Nov 26, 1999)
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