Carpal Tunnel Syndrome caused by hormonal changes
Last year, I wrote a blog https://www.adeomassage.com/en/hormonal-changes-during-pregnancy-and-menopause/ about the similarities in hormonal changes while pregnant and in menopause. At that time, I recognized that I was in an early stage of menopause and suffered from joint paints in my knees and now anno ‘22 I’m suffering from another typical menopause problem.
A lot of my pregnant mums who are coming to see me for a pregnancy massage do suffer from the same pain and agony. Women who deal with strong hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause make them more likely to suffer from CTS.
Generally, women are at higher risk of CTS between the ages of 45 and 54. Women are three times more likely to have CTS than men. I must say, I didn’t have any problems with my wrists during pregnancy but now, 52 years young I do. And I feel you mama, if you come for your regular pregnancy massage and tell me all about your pain and stiffness in the hands and wrists.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the name of a group of problems which includes swelling, pain, tingling, and loss of strength in your wrist and hand.
Your wrist are made of small bones (carpal bones) that form a narrow groove or carpal tunnel. This tunnel is very tiny that runs through your wrist and into your hand and houses both your flexor tendons and a nerve called the median nerve. If you suffer from CTS this carpal tunnel space becomes narrowed and inflamed.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
If your carpal tunnel space becomes narrowed and inflammation sets in, it can strain the median nerve due to excess pressure. This can lead to a variety of different symptoms, including:
- Burning or tingling in your fingers
- Hand, wrist, or finger numbness
- Difficulty grasping objects, like pens or cups or daily activity like brushing teeth, hanging and folding the wash or biking
- Pain that radiates through your wrist and into your hand
- Pain while sleeping
Most pregnant women who suffer from CTS have symptoms near the end of their pregnancy, as the hormones lead to excess fluid buildup. Symptoms appear sometimes after working a lot with your hands and a lot of women suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome at night while sleeping.
How to treat?
For women in menopause surgery or an Corticosteroid injection are a way to get relieve but these options are not recommended in pregnancy. If you have CTS during pregnancy it is wise to see your GP and he will discuss less invasive options with you. For example resting your wrists by using a splint, taking more rest, physical therapy and massaging your arms and hands to get rid off excess fluid. This is also a technique I use during my pregnancy massage therapy if you suffer from CTS.
On a positive note, in many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome goes away after your baby is born and your hormones settle back to normal. So, if you suffer from CTS book your regular pregnancy massage and I will ease your pain and stiffness.
My reference list:
Carpal tunnel syndrome | Office on Women's Health (womenshealth.gov)
Carpaal Tunnelsyndroom tijdens zwangerschap | Ouders van Nu
The Link Between Hormones and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Mehling Orthopedics: Orthopedic Surgeons