Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common pregnancy symptom, although often ignored. Carpal Tunnel is a numb and/or tingling feeling in the arms and fingers. This is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist, or in an area called the brachial plexus, a nerve bundle located in the neck and collar bone. So how are pregnancy & carpal tunnel connected?
Does pregnancy make carpal tunnel worse?
Pregnancy related carpal tunnel is normally caused by edema. The swelling adds pressure on the muscles which may pinch the nerves innervating the surrounding tissue. Carpal tunnel may also be exacerbated by the added weight to the front of the body (i.e breast and belly growth). The added weight can change the way women stand, sit and walk, causing poor postural habits which in turn, create distortion patterns. Muscles being stretched and pulled in unnatural ways can contribute to the issue.
Can massage help with carpal tunnel?
Massage therapy should be your first go to when you begin experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome. Receiving massages during your pregnancy can help the flow of lymph. It can address the buildup of lymph causes excess swelling in places like your hands and your feet. Massage also relaxes muscles and releases them from their most tense positions, allowing relief from pinched nerves and body distortion.
If you have been experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel, tell your massage therapist. They will focus on muscles in the hands, forearms, and anterior neck to release the areas causing carpal tunnel. Specific massage techniques can also help swelling go down. You may also be given specific stretches to maintain the changes massage therapy can provide the body.
Don’t wait to make your appointment if you have been experiencing any symptoms. The sooner you get them worked on, the less likely the symptoms will continue past pregnancy. Call or text us today at 385-351-5626 to schedule your massage today.