If you’re a new mom, you spend a fair amount of time picking up, dropping your baby to their crib, holding them, feeding them, while doing household chores altogether. And while this is undoubtedly good for your little loved one, it may also be taking a toll on your physical health and body, specifically your wrists. Are you familiar with mummy’s wrist? While dealing with all the changes that occur to your body throughout the duration of pregnancy, new mums are also prone to experiencing further issues involving pain in their wrist and thumb.
Mummy’s wrist and thumb arthritis are two of the most common conditions every new mum suffers from after giving birth. Mummy’s wrist is a condition known as De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, most commonly called mummy thumb or wrist. It causes intense and persistent pain in the wrist and thumb and sometimes radiates up the forearm, especially when moving the thumb or hand.
If you’re suffering from mummy’s wrist, you may need to regularly seek a hand doctor or surgeon in Singapore to get it treated. To know more about mummy’s wrist, here are its symptoms, causes, treatment options, and everything you need to know.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE A MUMMY’S WRIST
Although the symptoms of mummy’s wrist are only a few, the pain brought by the condition is unbearable and may require the help of a female hand surgeon. Some warning signs that may indicate you have a mummy’s wrist include the following:
- Persistent pain when you move your wrist or thumb
- Pain reaches the forearm to the shoulder
- Swelling around the base of the thumb and thumb side of the wrist
- Pain associated with gripping, lifting, twisting objects, and other thumb movements
- Pain when tucking your thumb in
- Pain when you make a fist
- A feeling of popping, snapping and clicking with wrist and thumb movements
If you are reading this and one of the alarm bells rings, you may want to consider seeking the help of a hand surgeon in Singapore and consult them for help.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR A MUMMY’S WRIST
Like most people mend a wrist fracture, some treat a mummy’s wrist with ice massage and painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. However, aside from these two, you can also ease the pain of a mummy’s wrist with the following:
In the initial stages of your mummy’s wrist, your hand doctor may require you to change how you move your wrist and thumb. You can ask for extra help from your friends and family to help to take the load off and rest your hand. You may also get asked to use feeding pillows to support your newborn during meal times. This strategy can help your thumb and wrist rest and reduce baby-holding time.
WEARING OF SPLINT
Wearing a rigid wrist splint or brace can also help reduce intensifying movements brought by the mummy’s wrist condition. This treating gear can help alleviate the pain and, at the same time, allows you to move and perform your daily activities. If you’re always on the go, this may come in handy, but it will still depend on your hand doctor’s recommendation.
MASSAGE AND JOINT MOBILISATION
To release tight muscles and restore range of motion to the hand, wrist, forearm joints, and especially your thumb, a massage from your hand surgeon in Singapore may be necessary.
Taping can also be another treatment option for a mummy’s wrist to support the wrist or thumb. The tape would range from the wrist area back up the limb towards the heart.
To combat any tightness of the hand, relieve forearm muscles, and improve the mobility of your thumb, your hand surgeon in Singapore may also suggest some stretching techniques and hand exercises. You can do some of these at home.
GRADED STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
For severe cases of a mummy’s wrist, graded strengthening exercises are advisable. These gradual loading exercises can help rehabilitate your tendon and bring back endurance and mobility to the tissues.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT A MUMMY’S WRIST FROM WORSENING
Managing your pain is the best way to deal with thumb arthritis and mummy’s wrist. With this, you can help treat your own thumb and wrist pain and recover as quickly as possible. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Some things you can try to ensure your pain does not get worse are the following:
- Change your everyday hand and wrist movements until symptoms begin to ease
- Hold or scoop your baby up using your unaffected hand, placing the sore hand under the bottom of the better-moving arm
- Keep your wrist rigid to avoid pain irritation
- Avoid strenuous wrist movements like opening the tightly-sealed lid on a jar, carrying heavy weights, and the like
- Avoid using your thumb to grip objects
- Using elastic bands and placing your fingers inside to extend your fingers
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR
When the pain from your mummy’s wrist is limiting you from doing things, such as lifting your child, laying your baby in their crib, feeding, or performing your work, it may require the assistance of a hand surgeon in Singapore. Also, if the pain persists after trying the various preventive measures, immediately make an appointment with a hand specialist or your healthcare provider. These professionals can suggest you get cortisone, which is also known as a steroid shot, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or some medications. In rare, very extreme cases, surgery is necessary but usually a permanent fix. Your female hand surgeon will tell you if this is the case.
DOES A MUMMY’S WRIST GO AWAY
For the very mild cases of mummy’s wrist, it can recover after giving birth or delivery with minimal intervention and proper care. The more severe your case is, the more help and treatment may be necessary to make the pain go away and ease your symptoms. But it generally takes at least four to six weeks to get better with early and consistent treatment.
As a new mum, using your wrist and thumb daily is necessary. Your entire hand can help you accomplish your daily tasks, whether household or for your little one, from washing the dishes, carrying your baby, changing their diapers, vacuuming the floor, fixing your bed sheet, breastfeeding, and others.
If you have a mummy’s wrist, doing these activities can be challenging and may worsen the condition of your mummy’s wrist over time. As a mum, your wrists are prone to several disorders. Aside from mummy’s wrist, you must also watch out for other problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or ganglion cyst in Singapore.
Although life is busy as a new mum, NEVER ignore the pain in your wrist and hands, especially the four mentioned disorders: ganglion cyst, carpal tunnel syndrome, thumb arthritis and mummy’s wrist. Get it assessed as early as possible.
If you need to consult a hand surgeon in Singapore, Dr Jacqueline Tan can assist you with anything. Their clinic provides surgical and therapeutic services for all hand problems. Contact them at +65 6592 5522 or their website to schedule an appointment!