Carpal tunnel syndrome is a relatively common ailment that women can experience at any stage of their pregnancy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by increased fluid and swelling in the wrist area, putting pressure on the narrow hollow (the carpal tunnel) through which major nerves of the hand travel. This can cause pain, tingling and numbness in the fingers, hand and forearm. It can range from being mildly annoying to extremely painful, interfering with day to day function and sleep.
What can be done?
1. It is important to address fluid retention and restore balance to the body:
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid caffeinated and high-sugar drinks which are dehydrating and inflammatory.
  • Add fresh lemon juice to drinking water to increase the water’s absorption.
  • Ensure your electrolytes are balanced – optimal hydration requires a range of important electrolytes, and fluid retention can be a sign of imbalance. Electrolytes include magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium. Blackstrap molasses, pink Himalayan salt and carbonated spring water are excellent electrolyte sources.
2. Avoid strong diuretics, as they can cause further dehydration. However, nettle tea is a gentle and safe tea that has a gentle diuretic effect, without depleting potassium and calcium. It is also anti-inflammatory and tonifying.
3. Apple cidar vinegar is excellent for supporting optimal fluid metabolism in the body. Add 1tbsp of organic apple cider vinegar with 1tbsp of local honey in a large glass of warm water one to four times daily.
4. Acupuncture is extremely effective for carpal tunnel syndrome, as the affected area can be directly targeted with the tiny acupuncture needles to bring down localised swelling and relieve pressure on the affected nerves.
5. Rubbing an ice cube on the affected wrist can bring temporary relief by reducing swelling.
6. Soaking your hands in a warm Epsom salt soak can relieve local swelling, and supplies the anti-inflammatory mineral magnesium to the area.
Fiona O'Farrell is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Naturopath. She runs The Gate Clinic in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. See for more information.
Natural Health Therapist