Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Baby-safe hand relief available for mothers

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
Houston Methodist
Summary:
From weird cravings to swollen feet, pregnant women deal with a lot during those nine months. Some women even suffer from hand pain when there are simple, baby-safe options to treat the symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome and de Quervain's tenosynovitis are the two most common causes of hand pain for women who are expecting or have just delivered.

From weird cravings to swollen feet, pregnant women deal with a lot during those nine months Some women even suffer from hand pain when there are simple, baby-safe options to treat the symptoms.

Carpal tunnel syndrome and de Quervain's tenosynovitis are the two most common causes of hand pain for women who are expecting or have just delivered.

"Most women think pain caused by swelling in the hands is just another joy of pregnancy that they have to deal with," said Shari Liberman, M.D., a Houston Methodist orthopedic surgeon and hand and upper extremity specialist. "In fact, there are several baby-safe options that can provide pain relief for mom."

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in pregnant women due to the increased fluid retention in their hands. The carpal tunnel houses several tendons and the median nerve, which provides senses for the thumb, the first and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger and motor movement for the thumb.

"The carpal tunnel does not function as a balloon, so it cannot expand when a tendon becomes inflamed or if increased level of fluid is in the tunnel," explained Liberman. "In expectant moms, the increased fluid in their hands puts pressure on the median nerve, which can cause numbness or tingling in the fingers controlled by that nerve."

While most causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are not reversible, a pregnant woman will see decreased fluid retention and resolution of symptoms once she gives birth. While waiting for their due date, Liberman advises her pregnant patients to splint the wrist and to get a steroid injection.

"When I recommend a steroid injection, many think that will hurt the baby, but it won't," Liberman said. "Whether the baby is in utero or breastfeeding, there are steroid injections that can provide pain relief for mom without affecting the baby."

De Quervain's tenosynovitis is common in new mothers because of the awkward hand positions used to care for or breastfeed a baby. It occurs when one or both of the tendons that move the thumb become inflamed. The compartment which houses the tendons is just the right size for the tendons, much like driving a car through a tunnel. When a tendon becomes inflamed, Liberman likens it driving a truck through the tunnel.

"De Quervain's can be a vicious cycle," said Liberman. "Because the inflamed tendon keeps hitting the walls of its compartment, it stays irritated and inflamed."

Liberman recommends a steroid injection to provide immediate relief and splinting to give them the inflamed tendon time to heal. This will resolve the symptoms for 90 percent of patients. Symptoms of de Quervain's include pain in the thumb-side of the wrist which can radiate down the thumb or up the forearm and an increase in pain when moving the hand or thumb.

"During my pregnancy, I dealt with de Quervain's, so I know how painful it can be," said Liberman. "For me, splinting was enough to resolve the symptoms. If you are a new mom dealing with thumb pain, I encourage you to ask your ob-gyn or orthopedist about baby-safe options that can help relieve your pain."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Houston Methodist. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Houston Methodist. "Baby-safe hand relief available for mothers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611112720.htm>.
Houston Methodist. (2014, June 11). Baby-safe hand relief available for mothers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611112720.htm
Houston Methodist. "Baby-safe hand relief available for mothers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611112720.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins