Do you know that nearly 80 percent of pregnant women complain of neck pain? But why, when all the work of pregnancy is happening in your uterus? When you are pregnant your body is completely different with added hormones, weight and an overall feeling that you are not able to get comfortable, especially at night. Plus you have to be extra careful with what medications you take. There are a couple of reason why your neck, especially, takes strain as your body changes and grows during pregnancy. Firstly, during pregnancy there is a sudden increase of weight and typically this weight is carried more in your uterus. This alters your center of gravity and therefore the balance in your body. So, your body tries to adjust to this new size and weight almost on a daily basis. Your posture may change, as will the way you sit and walk to try and compensate for this shift. All this can cause your muscles and ligaments to take strain and do work that they are not used to. Secondly, during pregnancy the hormone, relaxin, is released to effectively relax your joints and ligaments in preparation for birth. While a great concept in relaxing the pelvis to allow for childbirth, this relaxing also affects the joints and ligaments in your neck, compromising their ability to support your body, which can also cause pain.
Ease The Pain. Here are a few suggestions on how to get some neck pain relief while pregnant.
- Don’t sleep with so many pillows. Sleeping with a pile of pillows can cause an unnatural position of the head and can result in pain. Rather use one good cervical support neck pillow. One that will make sure that your head and neck are properly aligned while sleeping. Sleeping with too many pillows can also put a lot of pressure on the neck muscles and nerves.
- In bed, take two pillows and place them between your knees. This will take the pressure off your lower back when you are sleeping.
- Try using heat and /or ice to help ease pain. Ice your neck during the day as this will help to decrease inflammation, swelling and pain in the neck and best of all, it will provide an analgesic effect. A heating pad against your neck can get heat deep into tense muscles and help relax away any pain you may be feeling.