Are you dreading the idea of your neck pain in pregnancy? It’s associated with headache, numbness, stiffness or even swelling in the neck. The pain slowly spreads to the shoulders and the adjacent muscles. You’ll feel a dull neck pain in pregnancy’s first trimester which goes on to become severe neck pain in pregnancy’s third trimester. But don’t worry. Check out below all you need to learn about the pain including its causes, remedies and prevention.
In this article:
A Guide for Neck Pain During Pregnancy
Causes of Neck Pain in Pregnancy
Too Much Pressure on Muscles
Changes occur in your posture to help your abdomen grow and accommodate the developing foetus. For example, your spine curves outwards more and, the added strain to your lower back muscles affects the muscles of your neck and upper back. This causes neck pain in pregnancy.
Hormonal Imbalance and Changes
Hormonal changes and imbalance in your body after conception trigger your neck pain. The over-discharge of hormones causes slackening of your neck muscles, resulting in neck pain.
Reduction in Exercise
Neck pain in early pregnancy is indirectly caused by fatigue. Due to fatigue as well as safety issues, pregnant women fail to exercise adequately. Though a slowdown in physical activities is recommended, a decrease in exercise can cause your muscles to waste away when their function is more demanded. This leads to severe neck pain and headache.
Lack of mobility due to your inability to move around, especially during the later stages of pregnancy leads to strain in your neck. This is a notable cause of neck pain in pregnancy’s third trimester.
Pregnant women are always instructed to sleep on their left side. So, the persistent pressure on the body’s left part because of this sleeping position results in stiffness in the neck, thereby causing neck pain.
Home Remedies for Neck Pain in Pregnancy
Apply Heat and Cold Therapy
Apply ice pack on your neck daily to relieve its pain. Both heat and cold therapy help incredibly. So, go for a hot-cold compression at regular intervals.
Hydrotherapy effectively treats neck pain in pregnancy. Target the force of the water from the shower on your affected area. Thus, allow hot water to run for 3-4 minutes. For the next 60 seconds, switch to cold water. Repeat a few times to soothe your pain. The hot water eases your stiff muscles and stimulates blood circulation while the cold water heals your inflammations.
Use the Right Pillow
Pregnant women usually tend to use the wrong pillows or sleep on multiple pillows to support their neck. Both cases cause neck pain and backache. Buy good comfortable pillows like the maternity ones. Support your knees over them and maintain a proper sleeping posture.
Try Light Water-Based Sports
Light water-based exercises like swimming can reduce your neck pain in pregnancy. How? Water supports your body weight and eases the stress on your aching areas, including your neck region. Your doctor may even recommend you certain types of water-based workouts to relieve your pain.
Stretching will greatly relieve your backache and neck pain. How? Stretching can ease the pain triggered by the changes in the centre of gravity and muscle strain due to weight gain.
Have a Neck Massage
Get a good neck massage from your husband or any other family member after a hot shower or bath. Why? Because heat helps relax your muscles. Opting for a prenatal massage is more preferable. Try massaging with hot essential oils like olive oil, lavender oil or coconut oil for better results.
Go for Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agent to cure your neck pain in pregnancy. Soak a paper towel or some cotton in it. Let it stay on your affected area for a few hours. Repeat twice for great results.
Wisely use a Tennis Ball
You can wisely use your kid’s tennis ball to soothe your pain. Placing the softball in between your back and the wall, move slowly from side to side. Use your own body weight to get the required amount of pressure.
Tips for Prevention
Look at Eye Level
When looking at things, always keep an eye level and don’t slouch, to prevent neck pain in pregnancy. If you look down, your neck will not be at a proper angle. It’s mainly advised to women working in front of a screen.
Maintain a Proper Posture
As your abdomen grows, your body weight will tilt towards your spine. So, it’s important to maintain a straight and firm posture to prevent discomfort.
Sit Comfortably with the Right Pillows
Sit in a comfortable position, supporting your head and lumbar region of your back against comfortable pillows. Preferably go for the maternity pillows. Besides, try keeping your legs elevated in a non-stressful position to prevent unnecessary stress on your back and neck.
Get in the Water
Consult your doctor to try simple water-based exercises like swimming to help reduce your neck pain in pregnancy.
Consult a Chiropractor
After seeking medical consultation, speak to a chiropractor. He will properly align the joints of your body by adjusting them naturally. This eases the stress on your muscles as well as nerves and thus relieves your pain.
Simple Exercises to Ease Pregnancy Neck Pain
You can effectively fight your neck pain in pregnancy’s first trimester by trying the following simple exercises and workouts at home after seeking medical consultation:
- Sit upright on the floor, looking ahead. Now turn your head to the left as far as it can stretch. Maintain this position for 15 seconds. Now slowly turn your head to its original position.
- Repeat it for the right side and again turn your head to its original position.
- Push up your chin down to your chest. Keep this position for 15 seconds and again return to your original posture.
Repeat regularly to ease your neck pain in pregnancy.
Neck pain in pregnancy is nothing surprising. You can wisely deal with it using the above remedies, preventive measures and easy exercises after consulting your doctor.