Hand pain is common in those individuals who have either injured the hand or overuse it through repetitive motion. A child of any size could result in a parent experiencing either one or both of these causes and that can make your daily routine a whole lot tougher to get through.
But let’s say you haven’t injured your hand lately, yet you are still experiencing pain in the hand and up through the wrist when you are holding your child for any length of time. This could be an indication that you are experiencing a condition commonly known as Mommy’s Wrist or Mommy’s Thumb.
What Is Mommy’s Wrist?
It’s also referred to as deQuervain’s tendonitis and it takes place mainly in the wrist, even though much of the pain is felt along the thumb. The pain becomes more intense as you try to use that digit doing some of the most simple and average things, be it opening a jar, grabbing a door knob, or lifting your child.
The pain is caused by irritation of the tendons along the outside of the thumb at the wrist. The main tendons that are affected are the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB), both of which become painful and swollen through irritation. The more you move the thumb, the more painful this tendonitis can become and some sufferers may find they have swelling or even a small bump where the thumb and the wrist meet.
So, every time you try to grip something or pick your child up from a crib or the ground, that pain can start to resonate. You may even feel some popping sensations that make you swear something has gone horribly wrong inside of your hand.
According to recent surveys, experts suggest that somewhere up to half the new mothers out there will experience Mommy’s Wrist at some point, because they are placing the thumb under high levels of pressure due to the weight of their child when lifting him or her up.
Prevention and Treatment
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of suffering from Mommy’s Wrist. For starters, you can get an elevated crib, so you don’t need to lift your child as high as you might if the crib were lower. This will alleviate the pressure you place on your thumb.
Speaking of your thumb, try to place your child’s weight more towards your palm and your forearm when you pick your child up from any height. This also alleviates the pressure on the thumb and keeps the tendons from becoming irritated. If you still feel any pain, you can use an ice pack to try to minimize it.
If the pain continues or becomes more intense, you may need to see a hand specialist in Richmond VA who can administer treatment options such as cortisone injections and wrist splints. These solutions should be taken under consideration only after non-invasive alternatives have failed to work as expected.