Is It Normal?
Yes, such pain is common among pregnant women, and it gives lots of troubles. The worst thing about it is that it activates when you try to sleep disrupting your sound dream.
The pain occurs because your body changes: added hormones, change in weight and overall feeling of being unable to find the comfortable place – all these contributes to it. Another thing is that you cannot be easy on medications because they can negatively affect the fetus.
Causes of Neck Pain during Pregnancy
There are various causes:
- The most common cause is the strained neck muscles: the increased body weight, the shift of the gravity center and the restriction of physical activity affects your neck negatively leading to painful sensation.
- The increased level of hormones in blood may cause the loosening of ligaments and shifting of the joints, which results in pain in neck and back. There is a hormone called Relaxin; as the name says it promotes the ‘relaxation’ of the pelvis ligaments, making them softer and pliable to ease the delivery.
- The weight gain leads to neck and back pain, since the muscle experience the increased load.
The Treatment of Pregnancy Neck Pain
First of all, don’t sleep on many pillows; just get a good one (not very high) that provides reasonable cervical support. When you sleep on many pillows, your head is forced to lean forward, causing your neck muscles and nerves become strained. Such strain may easily lead to pain and stiffness.
Find the most comfortable position for you. You can have pillows under or between your knees to reduce pressure placed on the lower back while sleeping.
In general sleeping on the back during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, is not a good idea, because of the extra weight of the uterus, which is placed on the spine, intestines, muscles, and blood vessels. It may even lead to the decrease or increase of the blood pressure, leading to dizziness. You should better sleep on your side using pillows between your knees as mentioned above. It is recommended to sleep on the left side, since it positively affects the baby’s blood circulation, as well as to improve the kidney function on timely elimination of toxins.
If you experience a constant pain, you can use ice to decrease inflammation and swelling, which gives you relief from pain as well.
The best idea is to adopt a regular physical routine, especially in the morning – do some mild exercises to stretch and strengthen your neck and back, such as yoga. With daily practice your range of motion will increase and the pain will trouble you less frequently or can even cease completely.
Hot shower can be helpful to relax neck muscles and relieve painful sensation.
When it comes to neck pain during pregnancy, make sure its origin is ‘common’ i.e. it is caused by the factors inherent to being pregnant. If you suspect the pain occurs due to some other factors, see a doctor to rule out the serious ones or to undergo a medical treatment if needed.