In honor of Mother’s Day, the team at Coastal Orthopedics thought we’d give some helpful hints to all those hard working mommas out there! Whether you stay at home or work full time, motherhood can take a toll on your body. Here are some of the most common orthopedic injuries we see in moms.
1. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis aka “Mother’s Wrist”
If you’re like most moms, you spend a lot of time picking up and holding your kids and all their gear. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis results from the inflammation of the sheath that surrounds the two tendons that run between the wrist and the thumb.
“Mother’s Wrist” is painful and occasionally swells over the base of the thumb or the thumb side of the wrist, often worsening when a person forcefully grips, grabs or lifts something. For treatment and prevention tips, follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed within the rigid passageway at the base of the hand. Inflammation of tendons within the tunnel, swelling from injury/trauma to the wrist, and fluid retention from pregnancy are all things that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
This results in numbness, burning, and often shock-like pain primarily in the thumb, index and middle fingers. Some people develop weakness or clumsiness in their hands, such as trouble buttoning clothes. For most people, symptoms are worse during the night and with prolonged wrist flexion.
If carpal tunnel syndrome is not addressed in a timely manner, you can develop permanent numbness or weakness. Be proactive! Follow Coastal Orthopedics on Facebook and Instagram for treatment tips or make an appointment with a wrist specialist.
3. Lateral Epicondylitis or “Tennis Elbow”
Lateral epicondylitis is an overuse injury resulting in degeneration and micro-tearing of the tendons that attach at the outside aspect of the elbow. These tendons help straighten and stabilize the wrist. When the tendons’ anchor site at the elbow is damaged, any activity that requires that tendon to be active such as lifting or gripping results in pain at the outer elbow.
Even something as simple as picking up a coffee cup can be excruciating— and we can’t forgo our coffee! Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes for this one. This tendon has a notoriously bad blood supply which means it’s not great at healing.
Cases of tennis elbow often last months to even a year. There are some more aggressive options including platelet-rich plasma injections and surgery for persistent cases. For treatment and prevention tips, follow Coastal Orthopedics on Instagram and Facebook.
4. Low Back Sprain
It’s no surprise that many moms experience low back pain. Bending forward to gently set your baby in the crib without startling them awake, crouching down on the floor to crawl into your toddler’s fort, hoisting kids in and out of highchairs or sitting in an awkward position for breastfeeding all come to mind.
Heavy lifting (especially with a bent back), prolonged sitting, driving, or standing are the most common offenders. For more details on how to prevent pain in the lower back or how to treat a low back sprain, follow Coastal Orthopedics on Facebook and Instagram, or make an appointment with a back pain specialist.
5. Patellofemoral Syndrome
Although certainly not specific to mothers, this pesky knee problem plagues many women of all ages. Patellofemoral syndrome results from the kneecap not tracking perfectly in its groove on the femur.
You may feel or hear a crunching or rice-crispy type sensation under your knees with stairs and squats. It is tough to squeeze in those workouts in the post-partum phase (or let’s be honest, in any phase of motherhood). But often those quick, high-intensity workouts that you try to fit into your busy schedule can set you up for injury.
We know all you moms make the world go round. And often it’s hard (if not impossible) to rest and take care of yourself. If you are struggling with any of these “mom” injuries mentioned above, make an appointment with one of our providers or walk into our urgent care clinic, OrthoCare Express, in Westport or Norwalk!