What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a wrist condition which can occur during pregnancy due to the compression of nerves around the wrist.

What are signs of CTS?

Symptoms usually start gradually, with numbness or tingling in the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Some people say their fingers feel swollen, even though very little or no swelling is noticeable. The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night. 

  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers and palm
  • Pain in the wrist
  • Weakness with gripping objects

How many mothers are affected by CTS?

The statistics vary depending on what you read but somewhere between 30-65% of mothers suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy. 

What increases my risk of getting CTS?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of multiple factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Some factors that can contribute to getting CTS include:

  • Retaining fluid during pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Having thyroid issues or diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Having multiple children

Do I need a test or scan to diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

No – The screening tests completed by physiotherapists are enough to diagnose this condition

What can physiotherapy do to help?

  • Thorough assessment to ensure correct diagnosis
  • Hands-on treatment including massage and/or dry needling
  • Fitting a brace/splint to wear at night (if required)
  • Modifying daily activities (including liaising with other health and fitness professional if required)
  • Exercise management


Don’t put up with wrist pain during pregnancy, make an appointment to see one of our experienced physiotherapists today.