Wrist Pain When Pregnant: How to Get Rid of It?

Wrist Pain When Pregnant: How to Get Rid of It?

Pregnancy can affect the body in many different ways, including the wrist. Women report wrist pain in the range of 35% to 62% during pregnancy, mostly in the late stages, and in the range of 50% after delivery. Inflammation and muscle weakness due to hormonal changes, as well as decreased physical activity, are the main causes.

Many women discover that their symptoms go away a few months after giving birth. However, specific diagnoses might need specialized care and treatment. In severe cases, symptoms might deteriorate over time and necessitate surgery to stop irreversible nerve damage.

You will discover the causes of wrist pain during pregnancy as well as remedies in this article.

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Why Wrist Pain When Pregnant?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, which also causes wrist pain in pregnant women, is quite common. Hormonal changes are believed to contribute to the development of the condition. As it increases pressure on the median nerve, fluid retention can also be a factor.

There are several other risk factors that may lead a pregnant woman to develop carpal tunnel during her pregnancy:

Being Overweight: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is more frequently reported in women who were overweight before having children, though it is unclear if weight specifically causes CTS.

Pregnancy-Related Diabetes: Both conditions can lead to increased fluid retention which is a cause of carpal tunnel

Prior Pregnancies: In subsequent pregnancies, relaxin, a hormone that aids in the pelvic and cervix expanding during pregnancy, might be present in higher concentrations. The hormone may also lead to inflammation which can cause carpal tunnel.

In most cases, the condition will resolve itself within a few months of the baby’s birth. Call your doctor if you start to feel tingling, numbness, or pain that extends up your arm into your shoulder.

Wrist Pain When Pregnant: How to Get Rid of It?

What Are the Symptoms of Wrist Pain in Pregnancy?

Common symptoms of wrist pain in pregnancy include:

  • Numbness and tingling (almost like a pins-and-needles feeling) in fingers, wrists, and hands, which may worsen at night
  • Throbbing sensation in hands, wrists, and fingers
  • Swollen fingers
  • Trouble gripping objects and problems performing fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt or working the clasp on a necklace

It can happen to one or both hands. A 2012 study found that almost 50 percent of pregnant participants with wrist pain had it in both hands. As the pregnancy goes on, symptoms could get worse. One study found 40 percent of participants reported the onset of wrist pain symptoms after 30 weeks of pregnancy. At this time, fluid retention and weight gain are at their highest levels.

How Do Get Rid of Wrist Pain During Pregnancy?

Here are a few ways that mothers can assist you.


Although it is the most successful treatment, having a baby makes it almost impossible. Even if it means temporarily putting off the housework, try to avoid using your hands and wrists whenever you can.

Rotate Your Wrist

To immobilize your thumb or wrist, help your tendons rest, or lessen carpal tunnel pressure on the median nerve, this is frequently advised. Avoid purchasing a splint online or at a pharmacy because the type of splint required will vary depending on your condition. Before buying one, it is best to consult a hand therapist and have one custom-made for you, at the very least.

Take Pain Relievers

As long as you don’t go over 3,000 mg per day, acetaminophen (Tylenol) use is typically regarded as safe during pregnancy. If you have any worries, speak to your doctor. Except when specifically prescribed by your doctor, avoid taking ibuprofen (Advil) while pregnant. Low amniotic fluid is one of many conditions that ibuprofen has been linked to.

Wrist Pain When Pregnant: How to Get Rid of It?


Reduced swelling and some pain relief may be achieved through gentle massage. Gently rub the upper half of your forearm, where the muscles are, with the heel of the hand that is not affected. You can repeat this as frequently as necessary.

If a massage helps, ask your support person to perform it for you so you can rest your hands.

Use Cold Therapy

To help reduce swelling, apply ice wrapped in a towel to your wrist for about 10 minutes several times a day. You might also try what’s called a “contrast bath”: Soak your wrist in cold water for about one minute, then in warm water for another minute. For a total of five to six minutes, continue alternating. Whenever possible, repeat.

Contrast Bathing

This technique is extremely useful if you have swelling. Set up two bowls; fill one with very warm (NOT scalding) water and one with iced water. Spend about a minute bathing your hand or wrist in warm water, followed by about 30 seconds in cold water. For three minutes, alternate between the two bowls; then, use the cold water to complete the process.


Try the following hand exercises, but do NOT continue if symptoms become worse:

  • After a brief period of holding your fingers as far apart as they will go, release them.
  • Make a fist, then extend your fingers straight.
  • Slowly move your hands in a circle and side to side as well as up and down.
  • Additional exercise (mobility, nerve and tendon glides, and strengthening exercises) can be recommended by a hand therapist.

Practice Yoga

Results from one study found that practicing yoga can reduce pain and increase grip strength in people with CTS. More research is needed, though, especially to understand the benefits for pregnancy-related CTS.

Final Thoughts

A frequent cause of wrist pain is the hormonal changes that women go through before, during, and after pregnancy. While the majority of cases eventually become mild and go away on their own, more serious cases might necessitate a trip to a hand surgeon.

Taking care of oneself is the best way for an expectant or new mother to reduce her symptoms. While easier said than done, rest, proper nutrition and hydration, physical activity and proper medical care are the keys to staying healthy.


Will Pregnancy Wrist Pain Go Away?

Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to ease, and often disappears, after birth. You might need to alter the way you use your wrist if you experience pain even after your baby is born.

What Week Does Wrist Pain Start in Pregnancy?

However, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects some women who experience swelling inside the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects 31% to 62% of pregnant patients, as opposed to the 4% of adults who have it in the general population. Many patients notice symptoms after 30 weeks gestation.

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