Navigating Neck Pain in Early Pregnancy & 4 Common Back Pain Issues That Affect Women

Updated on January 30, 2023 by

Woman Experiencing Neck Pain In Early Pregnancy

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As a pregnant woman, neck and back pain can be an all-too-familiar experience. It’s common for women to experience neck pain in early pregnancy due to increased production of hormones, increased body weight, and changes in posture. But several other back pain issues can affect expectant women.

Scroll on as we look at the causes of neck pain in early pregnancy, as well as four common back pain issues that can affect pregnant women.


What Causes Neck Pain in Early Pregnancy?


During the first trimester of pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of changes. This includes an increase in hormone production and fluctuations in weight, as well as postural shifts that can lead to stress on your neck muscles.

Other factors contributing to neck pain such as tension headaches or poor sleep patterns, may also arise during this period. Additionally, musculoskeletal issues like muscle strain and cervical spinal irritation can cause discomfort too.

To prevent or ease the pain associated with these changes it’s important to:

  • Practice good posture while sitting or standing.
  • Avoid carrying heavy objects.
  • Take time out for restorative activities such as yoga or stretching exercises.
  • Sleep on a comfortable pillow and mattress.
  • Keep tabs with your family doctor or obstetrician.


What Causes Common Back Pain Issues During Pregnancy?


Back pain is an all too common symptom of pregnancy. It is brought about by the combined effects of increased body weight, hormonal changes, and postural shifts. It may also stem from muscle pains and strains from heavy lifting, disc degeneration, obesity, and even pelvic instability.

In rare cases, back pain during, before, or after pregnancy could be linked to cosmetic procedures such as breast lifts and other breast enhancement procedures. A good example is where the implants used in a breast augmentation procedure end up being too heavy for one’s body frame, causing strain on the back muscles.

This is why the surgeon Dr. Halvorson who practices breast augmentation in Asheville, NC recommends working with an experienced professional when seeking to change the size, shape, and overall appearance of your precious twins. They can help create an individualized plan that meets your goals and expectations without negative side effects such as back pain.


4 Most Common Back Pain Problems


Here are a few of the most common back pain problems that pregnant women experience.


1. Sciatica


Sciatica is a kind of back pain that develops when one or more compressed nerve roots within your spinal cord press against your sciatic nerve. This leads to radiating pain and discomfort in the lower part of your spine, buttocks, and legs.

The pain from sciatica can become worse with prolonged sitting during pregnancy due to the added stress on these nerves and ligaments — as they are stretched across bony protrusions in the area.


2. Lumbar Strain


Lumbar strain often occurs from repetitive activities such as lifting heavy objects, which can cause muscle fibers, tendons, or ligaments to tear or strain. This results in localized painful areas along your lower back region—usually either side or above/below.

While rest and ice treatment can help ease the pain, physical therapy and over-the-counter pain medication are often helpful. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection or surgery.


3. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction


As a result of enhanced joint laxity due to hormone production during pregnancy, a woman may develop sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJD) or SI joint pain. This is characterized by one-sided hip pain or generalized lower pelvic discomfort, often located near her sit bone region. Pain in the lower back and the legs is also common.

While it’s always good to consult with your doctor first, some common treatments for SIJD include heat and cold treatment, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and medications.


4. Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)


During pregnancy, a woman may also experience increased ligament tension in the pelvis region. This is often caused by a change in posture and your rapidly changing body shape.

Pregnant Woman Experiencing Back Pain In Early Pregnancy

The increased tension may eventually result in painful sensations around your pelvic girdle, lower back, groin, and hips, sometimes causing difficulty walking or standing. Treatment options for PGP are more or less similar to those of other issues such as SIJD as mentioned above.


Whether it’s neck pain in early pregnancy or more intense back pain issues, being informed is key to effectively managing these problems. This way, you can better enjoy the many important moments that come with carrying a little one. And if you’re not there yet, protecting your neck and back can be a great way to prepare.

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