Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a frequent complication of pregnancy with prevalence reported as high as 62% and commonly presents during the third trimester, nut can occur during the first trimester. It is the most common compression neuropathy of the upper extremity with the most typical symptoms being numbness and tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers. Conservative treatment and research advocates for the use of wrist splinting combined with tendon and nerve gliding exercises to minimize symptoms. A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) can provide these exercises and also fabricate a customized wrist splint that molds specifically to the anatomical size and shape of the patients upper extremity (as compared to over-the-counter store brands) thus placing the wrist in the most effective neutral position to maximize carpal canal volume and decrease pressure on the median nerve. A significant percentage of women may still have some complaints up to at least 3 years post-partum and should continue to wear splints as needed.
Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating carpal tunnel syndrome; eliminating the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. If fact, one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture i fro repetitive stress injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome. Recent studies even suggest that acupuncture may be more effective than corticosteroids when it comes to treating CTS.