Neck & Shoulder Pain During Pregnancy

by Tiffany Silverberg

If you are pregnant, pain is probably something you have gotten used to. From head to toe, much of your pain is inevitable. However, some pain is more than just another symptom of your growing baby and expanding waistline. Some pain, like that in your neck or shoulder, can be a sign of a more serious issue.

How It Feels

A severe neck or shoulder pain is unlike the natural exhaustion at the end of the day. If you are feeling a new and sharp pain, unlike what you normally experience in your neck or shoulders, this could be a symptom of a problem. Look for piercing pain that shoots through these areas.

What It Means

Ongoing or serious pain in your neck or shoulder areas can be a sign that your pregnancy is ectopic. An ectopic pregnancy is one that develops in a place outside the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg moves into the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Unfortunately, this is not the right place for the pregnancy, and the pregnancy will be lost. It also puts the woman's life at risk if it is not treated.

How to Treat It

If you experience extreme neck or shoulder pain during the beginning of your pregnancy, it may be an ectopic pregnancy. Additional symptoms may include extreme cramping in your abdomen or vaginal bleeding. See a doctor immediately, if you have these pains. The only way to treat an ectopic pregnancy is surgery. Your doctor will remove the egg or the entire tube, depending on how far the egg has developed. Another treatment is a drug that removes the egg. If you do not intervene, the tube can break causing internal bleeding and potentially fatal complications.

How to Avoid It

The best way to avoid ectopic pregnancies is to keep your body, particularly your fallopian tubes, healthy. Use safe sex practices to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. If you suspect that you have contracted a disease, see a doctor immediately to have it treated before it can harm your fallopian tubes. Smoking or previous ectopic pregnancies can also increase your chances of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.

Considerations

Neck and shoulder pain may not always signal an ectopic pregnancy. The tissues between your vertebrae may loosen during pregnancy, causing nerve pain or slipped discs. Sleep with support under your neck and practice proper posture to avoid pain. Talk with a doctor if you feel any discomfort in your shoulder and neck.

About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.

Photo Credits

  • flower office flower image by Pali A from Fotolia.com