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How can I Manage Neck Pain During Pregnancy?

By Kasey James
Updated Jan 31, 2024
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If you are experiencing neck pain during pregnancy, it can be managed with some simple home remedies. There are quite a few natural treatments to try. If the pain gets unbearable or is not showing improvement, you may want to talk with your doctor about other options. Your doctor may have safe medication choices or may refer you to a chiropractor.

Neck pain in pregnant women can be caused by a couple of different reasons. The first is the extra weight that pregnant women carry. Added weight to a small or medium frame can cause neck and back pain. A pregnant woman also tends to gain weight mostly in the front of her body. This shift in weight can also explain neck pain.

Hormone changes are another reason for neck pain during pregnancy. The increase in hormones can sometimes affect joints and ligaments, causing pain to the neck and other areas of the body. You can not stop the hormones from increasing, but you can try a few treatments at home to manage the pain.

Exercise may be one of the best options to help neck pain during pregnancy. There are specific neck exercises you can do in the morning to help loosen up the ligaments around the neck area. You may stretch your neck by putting your chin to your chest, then looking up to the sky as far as possible. Neck exercises should not be painful, but can give you a feeling that your muscles are stretching.

It may also help to ice your neck a few times throughout the day. It is more tolerable to use an ice pack wrapped in a cloth than direct ice. The ice should reduce any swelling and help to relieve the pain.

Many pregnant women use as many pillows as possible at night to help them sleep. If the pillows are not adjusted correctly, they can actually cause more neck pain during pregnancy. Using pillows under your knees may help with back pain, but you may not want to use excess pillows anywhere else.

If you have tried some of these home remedies for neck pain and continue to have pain, you can make an appointment with your obstetrician. He or she may have some alternative options. Many times, your doctor will refer you to a chiropractor. A chiropractor specializes in neck and back pain, and many specialize in prenatal pain. The chiropractor may have some techniques to help ease the pain and may be able to give you some additional home exercises as well.

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Discussion Comments

By anon353024 — On Oct 27, 2013

When experiencing pain the neck area, there's a lot of possible alternative treatments. Some are good, but also look at performing yoga and other natural neck exercises.

By bluedolphin — On May 16, 2013

@simrin-- Is the pain most during the night? If so, your pillow might be the culprit. I suggest getting an orthopedic pillow and pregnancy support pillows if you don't have them already.

A friend of mine goes to an acupuncturist for her neck pain and headaches. She's not pregnant and I'm not sure if there are any risks in acupuncture for pregnant women but that could be another option.

By SteamLouis — On May 15, 2013

I'm seven months pregnant and dealing with terrible neck pain. I couldn't sleep well the last two nights because of the pain. My doctor prescribed a safe pain killer, but I'd rather not take it if possible. How do I relieve this neck pain?

By fBoyle — On May 15, 2013

Not ice, but heat helped me with my neck and shoulder pain when I was pregnant. I would put a heat pad on my neck on and off throughout the day and then would wrap it with something to keep it warm. This relaxed the muscles there and relieved the pain somewhat.

I would also have my husband do some light massage on my neck and shoulders with a skin lotion. This helped a lot as well.

My sister had worse neck pain during her pregnancy than I did because of the weight gain and I remember that she was wearing a soft cervical collar during her last trimester.

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