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September 17, 2019

Carpal tunnel and De Quervain's tenosynovitis

The anatomical and postural changes of pregnancy can spark pain around the joints, tingling in one or both wrists, hands or fingers. From throbbing sensations to numbness and swollen fingers, some women find it hard to grip objects and performing fine motor skills such as tying a shoe or buttoning a shirt. This is often caused by extra fluid putting pressure on the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist. Most women find that the symptoms disappear after they finish breastfeeding.

Relief and remedies:
- A visit to your GP, osteopath, physiotherapist or naturopath can help.
- Try wearing a wrist brace – consistency is key.



Restless leg syndrome 

Restless legs and sudden painful cramps are common in pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. Hormonal and circulation changes are often the culprits, as are dehydration or deficiencies in minerals such as iron or magnesium.

Relief and remedies: 
- Stretch twice a day
- Apply heat packs (for brief periods of time)
- Book a massage (or ask your partner for one).
- Up your water intake and increase magnesium-dense foods such as nuts, seeds, bananas and green leafy veggies.  

 

Symphysis pubis dysfunction
Caused by the natural softening of the ligament that holds the two front bones of the pelvic ring together. While it can present early on in pregnancy, it usually intensifies in the weeks leading up to birth.

Relief and remedies: 
A doctor, physio, osteo or chiropractor can prescribe the correct treatment, which may include remedies such as a maternity belt or medication.

 

Back pain, sacroiliac pain and sciatica 
Back pain - particularly in the lower back and sacroiliac joint - is one of the most common pregnancy complaints. It's generally down to a combination of the relaxin hormone and a growing baby shifting your centre of gravity.

Relief and remedies: 
- Pregnancy belts can help the muscles stabilise
- Enlist an anti-inflammatory diet including reducing gluten, red meats and fried foots       
- Combine pregnancy-safe abdominal and stability exercises with pregnancy pilates.

 

Ligament pain - in hips, naval area and groin 
From feeling a burning sensation to a pulling, tightening or twinge – one at a time or even all at once – ligament pain is common and uncomfortable. Sometimes aggravated by baby’s kicking, inflammation extends throughout the muscle fibers.

Relief and remedies: 
- Start a routine of light exercise in the form of walking, swimming or pregnancy yoga.
- Be mindful of your posture, try to stand as upright as possible.
- If aching extends to your lower abdomen, cup your hands around your bump and lift it up to ease the pressure.
- Settle at night by lying on your side and sleeping with a pillow between your legs.

 

Oedema

Oedema is the swelling of the face, hands and feet. Caused by excess fluid collecting in your body tissues, the lymphatic system is more sluggish when a woman is pregnant, which makes it difficult for the body to push the fluid back from the extremities. Also, your growing uterus puts pressure on your pelvic veins which slows the return of blood from your legs, causing it to pool and force fluid from your veins into the tissues of your feet and ankles. It's why the old adage that pregnant women “put their feet up” rings true

Relief and remedies:
- Move around and change positions regularly.
- Exercise regularly (walking, stretching and swimming are restorative options)
- Gentle lymphatic drainage massage can help (seek out a pregnancy professional)
- Increase your water intake. This might seem counterintuitive however getting enough hydration will help your body retain less fluid.

 

 


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