Neck Pain During Pregnancy
September 22, 2011
Many women experience neck pain and tension during pregnancy. Your body is undergoing continuous change. This is very physically and emotionally taxing, and your neck is a natural place to reflect this.
Causes of Neck Pain
- Changes to your posture- As your body changes during pregnancy, your entire spine will realign in different ways. Your way of sitting, standing, and moving is shifting. This can cause strain and pain in your neck.
- Breast changes- The weight and size of your breasts will change significantly. Most women will grow one to two bra sizes or more during pregnancy. This extra weight pulls on your neck and shoulders which aren’t used to holding them up.
- Stress- Stress is a natural part of life. During pregnancy stresses of everyday life become magnified. You worry about your body, your baby, and the new changes that will come. This can contribute to neck and shoulder tension. Try some of our stress relieving tips.
- Poor Posture- slouching and poor posture can cause neck pain. With the additional weight of your belly and breasts, you may be slouching or leaning forward without realizing it.
Preventing Neck Pain During Pregnancy
- Wear a good bra that is comfortable yet supportive.
- Try not to sit or stand for long periods- if you must sit at your job, take frequent breaks and practice turning and rolling your neck.
- Get regular massages
- Practice prenatal yoga.
- Meditate and practice stress relieving techniques.
- Be sure you are getting adequate calcium and magnesium in your diet.
- Additional B Vitamins may be useful for periods of elevated stress.
- If you must sit for long periods of time, put a small footrest or stack of books under your feet
- Make sure you are practicing good posture, keeping your head up and shoulders back.
- Do regular stretching
- Exercise regularly, walking or swimming are excellent exercises for pregnancy.
Treatment for Neck Pain During Pregnancy
- Use moist heat
- Take a warm bath
- Take acetaminophen for pain
- See a massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist
- Have your partner practice pregnancy pain relief techniques on your body.
When to Call Your Doctor
- Your pain is severe.
- Your pain is getting worse or accompanied by numbness or tingling.