Neck Pain During Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know

Neck Pain During Pregnancy
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Neck pain during pregnancy is quite inconveniencing, and a good percentage of pregnant women deal with this.

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A woman might suffer stiffness in her neck during the first three months of pregnancy and begin to experience pain as the pregnancy goes further. Neck pain is more of discomfort that begins in the neck and goes all the way to the shoulder and the nearby muscles.

This leads to headaches, stiffness, numbness, or sometimes swelling in the neck. In this article, we will explore all there is to know about neck pain during pregnancy, and what can be done about it.

Most pregnant women have reached a conclusion that there is absolutely no way to deal with neck pain, and as such, they choose to silently bear it. However, that is far from true!

Some women may take painkillers after talking to their doctors, while some of them even go-ahead to try home remedies. The best way for anyone to counter neck pain is to try simple home remedies.

If you or any other pregnant woman you know are experiencing neck pain, below is everything you need to know about neck pain during pregnancy.

Possible Causes of Neck Pain During Pregnancy

Neck Pain During Pregnancy
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Some of the most common causes of neck pain during pregnancy are listed below:

Excessive pressure on muscles

While a woman is pregnant, the ligaments of the neck will expand, and the muscles of the woman’s back and spine have to deal with more pressure as the abdomen begins to grow bigger to accommodate the fast-growing foetus. This will lead to neck pain eventually.

Hormonal changes

Bodily changes and hormonal changes during pregnancy post conception may also trigger neck pain. Because there is an overdrive of hormones during this time, it causes the neck muscles to become somewhat slack, and this can cause pain in that area.

Changes in the posture

As expecting women are advised to lay down or sleep on their left side, there will be constant pressure on that left part of the body as a result of this sleeping posture. This ultimately leads to stiffness in the neck and also causes pain.

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Lack of mobility

It is normal for pregnant women to feel tired easily and be tempted to stay in one place for a long time as they attempt to rest. Staying in the same position for a very long time while pregnant can cause your muscles to become sore and stiff.

It is important that a pregnant woman moves around enough so that their muscles are kept warm. Lack of mobility will only lead to soreness and stiffness, which may result in mild to severe neck pain during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Home Remedies for Neck Pain During Pregnancy

Neck Pain During Pregnancy
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If you have been experiencing neck pain during pregnancy, it is best to avoid taking pain relievers or some other medication unless prescribed by your doctor.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that you have to live with the pain. It is interesting how there are numerous home remedies that can help to alleviate neck pain if these remedies are done correctly.

The following are some very simple treatments that will go a long way to relieve shoulder, neck, and even upper back pain in pregnancy:

Try warm compress

Nothing beats a warm compress on sore muscles. A warm compress can help bring relief to a sore neck to an extent. All you have to do is get a warm compress and use it on the sore neck every day if you want to beat the pain.

Sometimes, you may need to use it at regular intervals if that is required.

How about a cold compress?

Just like using a warm compress, a cold compress is also a wonderful way for you to beat the neck pain. All you need to do is take an ice pack and put it on your sore neck region. It is sure to help provide relief from the neck pain to a large extent.

Change your pillow

Sometimes, we do not know how to select the right kind of pillows. Making use of a wrong pillow or opting for too many pillows at a time to provide support to your neck or head can cause back and neck pain.

So, it is in your best interest to invest in a good and comfortable pillow. To make things easier, it is preferable to get a maternity pillow. Once you begin to use the correct kind of pillow, you will slowly begin to get relief from back or neck pain.

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You can also pull out your maternity pillow when you need to support your knees. If you want to maintain a good sleeping posture, you can simply place the pillow between your knees.

Stretch it out every now and then

Stretching can go a long way to bring about relief from not only neck pains but also back pain during pregnancy.

 If you are pregnant, it is in your best interest to do some early morning pregnancy-safe stretches. Just like you may suspect, stretching while pregnant is a good way to lengthen your muscles, slowly relax your body, and also relieve stress.

Apart from trying out some good stretches, you can also practice pregnancy-safe workouts and light yoga.

Try hydrotherapy also

Hydrotherapy can also be a good way to get relief from neck pain. Whenever you get in the shower, all you need to do is target the force of the water on the area affected.

Let the water freely run on your neck for between 3 to 4 minutes. Switch from hot to cold water for another minute. Repeat this for a few times, and you will feel better.

The hot water running from the shower will stimulate blood circulation, and that will ease the stiff muscles while any inflammation will be lowered by the cold water. However, it is important that hydrotherapy is carried out under supervision.

Try swimming if you can

You can also engage in some water-based games such as swimming to get rid of back and neck pain. Swimming is known to help ease neck pain, but a person must consult with a medical doctor before deciding to take up swimming or any other sport that is water-based.

You can use a tennis ball

You may have a tennis ball lying around without knowing it can help to relieve you of pain. To do this, make sure to keep the softball between the wall and your back and move slowly from left to right and the other way round. After that, you can use your body weight to get the amount of pressure you desire.

Get a neck massage

You can ask your husband or anyone in the family to give you a gentle neck massage.  Everyone knows that a neck massage will do wonders at relaxing your muscles. To get better results, get the neck massage after a hot bath.

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If you like, you can also try out prenatal massages. Try massaging with coconut oil, lavender oil, or olive oil for great results.

A final thought on neck pain during pregnancy

Neck Pain During Pregnancy
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Having neck pains during pregnancy is not a rare occurrence. However, it can be prevented by adopting a few positive lifestyle changes, like maintaining good posture and exercising.

You can also invest in good pillows as they will help you relax your muscles better. It helps to take walks and stay active as remaining in one position for too long will have a negative effect on your health.

We hope that this article has been useful, and we wish you are safe delivery when the time comes.

Neck Pain During Pregnancy
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Emmanuella Oluwafemi
Emmanuella Oluwafemi is a Sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and pedicurist. When she's not writing an article, she's surfing the web for new skills to learn.
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