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What to do with nerve hand pain before and after pregnancies

occupational therapist miami

If you know a mom or are a mom….this blog may be for you!!  Keep reading! 

If you are a mom and suffered from hand or shoulder problems during or after your pregnancy – you were probably told to wait and it will go away right?

But months and even years later, you might still be suffering.


The most common problems during and after pregnancy

I’d love to shed some light on some of the most common problems during and after pregnancy as a hand therapist – because I had a lot of these issues myself.

One common problem pregnant women have is numbness and pain in their hands.

It’s most likely Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if it happens at night and the numbness is to the thumb, index, and middle fingers.

Or it could be Cubital Tunnel if you feel numbness and pain to your ring finger and little finger and and the numbness depends on what you are doing at the time.  

During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes. With these hormonal changes and pressures on the body – it can compress two major nerves in your arm.

Nerve issues like carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel are some of the most common problems during pregnancy.  As you gain weight, retain water, or your body’s response to the hormone changes, the nerves in your hand and elbow get compressed resulting in numbness, tingling, and pain in your hands or elbow.

The biggest difference between having these problems during pregnancy or when you are NOT pregnant is what you can do about and how LONG you can wait.   

During and after pregnancy, it’s advised not to take pills, injections, or surgery if you can avoid it.  

I had all these problems during both my pregnancy with cubital tunnel being the worse as I got towards the end of my pregnancy.  


Tips to follow

For Carpal Tunnel:

At night when sleeping, if you have carpal tunnel, one of the best things to use is a splint that you can buy in the drug store.  Just make sure it’s not too tight as that would make it compress further. 


For Cubital Tunnel:

Honestly, the best thing you can do during these times is to pay attention to when you have the numbness and tingling and change up your positioning before it bothers you. 

For example, to bend your elbows talking on the phone too long can cause numbness to you small and ring fingers – use earphones as much as possible. 

If you have pain and numbness to your small fingers when sleeping or laying down – that may be because your elbows are pushing into the mattress causing it to push on that sensitive nerve. I usually recommend 3 tips:

  • Sleep on your side
  • If on your back, palace a pillow under your upper arm and it will help ease the pressure on the inside part of your elbow.
  • Wrap your elbows with a bath towel to protect your elbows during sleep. 


During pregnancy – there are a few things that you should NOT be doing. 

Sometimes less is more when it comes to nerve pain.

If you are NOT pregnant and have some of these issues – grab our free Carpal Tunnel Guide and get more tips and how-to’s to get started.

While you are pregnant, there are limited options in terms of pills, injections, and the last thing you want is surgery.  


When would you seek out therapy?

If you have tried those tips and the numbness and pain is getting worse – that’s the best time to come in. You can give us a call at the clinic and request to speak with our Miami hand specialist.  Get clear if what you are doing is right or if it’s the right time to start therapy.

With expecting moms we look at what you are currently doing and provide you with further corrective movements or strategies to help you with the numbness and pain during this time.  Also you might be doing things like stretching too hard that might be making the problem worse. 

Now, after the baby – the pain and numbness should go away within 2-3 months.  


Patient Success Story – Meet Loren

We had a client come in when her numbness and night pain persisted well into 6 months after the baby. 

I always say….babies get bigger and heavier.  So you have to take care of you before you can fully be able to take care of them. 

Loren tried everything she knew.  She stretched.  She wore splints at night.  She was back to working out and running.  Honestly, she is so active, we only need to tweak a few things that she was already doing to get great results.  Turned out the nerve that was firing up her hands was stuck a little at her shoulder.  

Once we got to the root cause of the issue, Loren was able to sleep at night without the pain and numbness. 

So expecting moms and experienced moms!  If you are suffering with hand pain and numbness – there’s hope that you can totally get rid of the problems!  You don’t have to suffer in silence! Having a happy mom, means happy babies 🙂

Written by Hoang Tran


occupational therapist miami


About the author – Hoang Tran – certified hand therapist Miami

Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist and the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck and shoulder problems, because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).

The aim of her occupational therapy practice in the Miami area is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery.

If you know of a mom or you yourself are suffering, give us a call at the office and speak to our specialist, OR request a Free  Discovery Visit!  It’s risk free because we know moms are super important and we want you to feel amazing.

In these difficult times, we are here to help. Telehealth and online sessions are available!


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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