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Is it normal to have hand cramps during pregnancy?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Pregnancy is a stage full of changes, both physical and psychological, hormonal or social, that cause joy and happiness in women, but also uncertainty and anguish, especially in new mothers, when they are not yet able to differentiate between normal aspects. of pregnancy and exceptional symptoms.

If this is your case and you have felt cramps in your hands at some point during your pregnancy, do not be alarmed, it is a situation that occurs with complete normality in most cases but that is worth being evaluated by the gynecologist. That is why at FastlyHealwe will clarify your doubts in relation to this aspect of pregnancy, answering the question about whether it is normal to have hand cramps during pregnancy .

Cramps in the hands due to fluid retention

The physiological changes during pregnancy are innumerable and in most cases depend mainly on the gestational age, that is, the moment of the pregnancy in which you are. Swelling in the extremities is one of the most noticeable manifestations during pregnancy, in fact, it occurs in approximately 80% of pregnant women. This is due to fluid retention and is the main cause of hand cramps .

For its part, fluid retention is associated with these factors:

  • The first of these are the hormonal changes (increases the secretion of aldosterone, the reabsorption of sodium and the activity of renin is modified) that are presented as gestational age advances and that in fact prepare the body for the birth of the baby.
  • As a second, the fetus that as it grows is capable of generating pressure in the pelvis, preventing blood from circulating normally.

This can manifest with:

  • Decreased sensitivity in the hands.
  • Occasional tingling
  • Edema in lower limbs (feet and ankles)

Hand cramps from carpal tunnel syndrome

Despite being generally related to constant manual labor, carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in pregnant women, it is closely related to fluid retention that generates a decrease in the speed of venous return .

The ligaments of the wrist create an anatomical structure called the carpal tunnel through which the tendons of the hand pass and the nerve that controls the sensations of the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. As there is fluid retention, the tunnel becomes much narrower, thus compressing the internal structures, thus generating the characteristic symptoms of this syndrome.

The main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are:

  • Difficulty controlling the muscle.
  • Pain that extends to the forearm.
  • Tingling or numbness of the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
  • Difficulty to sleep.
  • Loss of function of the thumb.

What to do about hand cramps during pregnancy

In general, hand cramps are within normality, however, if the swelling and cramps spread to the face and other symptoms appear such as:

  • Headache.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Blurry vision.

It is important that you visit the gynecologist for a check-up and evaluate your symptoms. This is to make the differential diagnosis of the probable causes of cramp in the hands, a diet based on diuretics is recommended in case the doctor determines that the cramps are related to a physiological process.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a major nuisance for pregnant women, even affecting muscle strength and mobility of the upper limbs.

Either way, the idea is that the person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome generates circular movements with the wrists to reduce the discomfort generated by this syndrome during pregnancy, however, everything that involves medication and recommendations must be given under supervision. from a specialist .

Recommendations in the presence of hand cramps during pregnancy

So it is important to know that hand cramps during pregnancy will improve just after delivery , however when this does not happen and the symptoms remain over time, it is important to visit the orthopedic surgeon who will do the physical examination and the precise diagnosis. in this way perform the appropriate therapy for the patient. Similarly, you can use these tips to relieve hand cramps during pregnancy.

  • Avoid hyperflexion of the wrist as it tends to narrow the space available to the carpal tunnel.
  • Sleeping with the arms raised, the doctor indicates that the arms should be supported by pillows or cushions so that the liquids circulate easily and the so-called fluid retention is not generated.
  • Shaking your hands to release the pressure that is generated in the carpal tunnel these movements can be performed several times a day.
  • Activate circulation by moving your fingers as you say to play a musical instrument.
  • Swimming is an exercise and height during pregnancy and activate the circulation of both the limbs. inferiors and supplements.
  • Practice yoga by strengthening the muscles of the upper limbs and decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel.
  • Avoid sleeping with your body pressing on your hands to avoid putting pressure on your wrist (carpal tunnel).
  • Apply ice to the wrist to decrease the inflammatory process and improve pain.
  • The use of the wrist strap is ideal when sleeping, avoiding bending the wrist so that blood flow is not limited.
  • Perform stretching exercises especially those performed by the physiotherapist who apply the appropriate techniques.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is it normal to have hand cramps during pregnancy? , we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .

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