This is probably the least common of the three, but still worth a mention. Lifting a new little life can take its toll on hands and wrists, especially if you’re a mum and have just gone through the connective-tissue relaxing effects of pregnancy (and, if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll still be producing those hormones).
Causes of Wrist/Hand/Forearm Pain
Fingers and hands are mainly controlled by muscles in the forearm, with the tendons running through the carpal tunnel on the inside of the wrist for the tendons in the palm of your hand. The more you use your hands, the tighter your forearms can get, tensioning the tendons running through your wrist. You may also notice that while you’re holding baby, especially their head and especially at first, you’re holding your hands very tightly.
What You Can Do
Try to be aware of how much tension you’re holding in your hand and if that level of tension is necessary. For example, if you are holding them in your elbow with one hand behind their head, check if your hand is very tense or is it relaxed?
When you push the buggy, how tightly do you grip the handle? Can you can safely push the buggy by touching your thumb and fingers together around the handles with no tension in your hands whatsoever.
Using a tennis or golf ball with the other hand, gently apply pressure on any area that feels tight, not allowing the pressure to create a pain greater than a 3/10. Hold that pressure until you feel a bit of release, then move down.
Use the tennis ball to make circles in the palm of your hand, the inside of your knuckles and the base of your thumb to help relieve hand pain.
Stretching Your Hands/Forearms
Holding the fingers or knuckles of one hand, bend your wrist and gently pull your hand to feel a gentle stretch in your forearm. Your arm should be straight but take care not to lock out your elbow.
You can bend your wrist both ways to stretch both sides of your forearms.
Carpal Tunnel and Other Issues
Some wrist and hand pain may require visits to a physiotherapist or the use of a brace, especially in the case of post-pregnancy/breastfeeding. In these cases, you should visit your doctor to see what they recommend.
How an SRMT Session Can Help
If you have pain/stiffness in your hands and forearms we will release the muscles in your arm and hands and take you through the above stretches so you can do them safely at home. Massage can also be used in conjunction with seeing a physiotherapist or receiving other medical attention if there are other, non-muscular causes of your wrist pain.
New Parent Workshop
In our workshops this October and November, we will be reviewing these and other techniques/stretches you could do to help lower back pain. For more information about what’s included in the workshop, you can check our workshop page here, or call or email for more information.
Important note: As mentioned above, sometimes hand, wrist or forearm pain may need attention from a physio, and some clients have found that using splints have helped their wrist pain during this time. As with any pain, we recommend you check anything worrying you with your GP so they can rule out any more serious causes and/or refer to a specialist as may be necessary. Also, we strongly recommend you not start any new exercise programme without checking with a health professional, whether that be your GP, midwife, or postnatal physiotherapist.