Does your neck pain prevent you from enjoying life during pregnancy?

For most women, neck pain is more frequent in the third trimester. In many cases, the pain is mild and usually goes away on its own with little effort. However, sometimes, the pain can go out of hand and require over-the-counter pain relievers. While they provide temporary relief, they do not address the underlying cause.

So, if neck pain during pregnancy becomes a pattern and disrupts your daily life, it’s time to take things seriously. It’s also a sign that you should look for the best spine doctors near you.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pain, there are several things you can do. But before we dive into them, let’s look at some common factors that trigger pregnancy-induced neck pain. 

Causes of Neck Pain During Pregnancy

A woman’s body undergoing physical changes during pregnancy is often one of the main reasons for neck pain. Adapting to new movements can overexert muscles, leading to aches, pain, and injury. However, there are other associated reasons, too:

  • Pregnancy hormones loosen joints and ligaments, affecting all joints and increasing susceptibility to muscle aches and joint pains.
  • As your baby grows, the shifting centre of gravity affects posture, spinal curvature, and muscle use. Added baby weight can change spinal curvature, leading to muscle compensation and resulting in aches and pains.
  • Reduced exercise can cause muscle atrophy and tightness. That’s why it is recommended to maintain doctor-approved exercises to prevent pain.
  • Neck or shoulder pain in the first trimester may also indicate an ectopic pregnancy. Therefore, if your neck pain persists, consult the best spine doctors near you. They can provide the specialised care you need to manage your condition effectively.

Now that we have seen the causes of neck pain during pregnancy let’s see what you can do to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

Managing Neck Pain During Pregnancy

Invest in a new pillow and mattress

A new pillow and mattress can greatly help eliminate any uneasiness from neck pain while you sleep. Memory foam mattresses and pillows are best for use during pregnancy.

They adjust to the changing body shape and evenly distribute body weight without putting any undue pressure at one point. The pillow offers optimal support to the neck, spine and shoulders to prevent pain and stiffness.

Stay active

One mistake most pregnant women make is lying in one position for long periods, which can damage muscle tone and firmness. Maintaining enough body movement is essential to preserving bone and muscle strength throughout pregnancy.

Leading an active lifestyle with low-intensity workouts such as walking, swimming and yoga can yield wonderful results for your overall well-being and prevent muscle stiffness and pain in the neck and back.

Correct postural flaws

Being aware of your rapidly changing body during pregnancy helps maintain proper posture that prevents strained neck and back due to sudden weight gain.

Warm and cool compress

When neck and shoulder pain become unmanageable, a warm compress can help reduce the severity of pain and heal muscle stiffness by improving blood circulation.

If inflammation or swelling accompanies pain, a cool compress is better. It works by numbing the soreness in tissues.


Hydrotherapy can yield excellent results for alleviating neck pain during pregnancy. One effective method is a warm shower, which helps relieve stiffness and pain around the neck.

While it’s generally not recommended to fully immerse in a pool of hot water due to the risk of inducing labour, using a warm water pad or standing under a warm shower is considered safe and effective for managing neck pain.


Exercising is beneficial for treating back and neck pain during pregnancy. Undergoing physiotherapy sessions at Neurowellness or doing exercises approved by a physiotherapist for pregnancy-related neck pain is a good way to keep discomfort at bay.

Some simple exercises that can help manage neck pain include chin tucks, neck stretches, side tilts and shoulder stretches, which are easy to perform during pregnancy.

Pregnancy support belt/band

As you enter the third trimester, your body might struggle to support the baby during activities like walking or exercising. Wearing a support band or belt can be very helpful in these situations.

Restful sleep

A regular sleeping schedule is as important as staying active in curbing the likelihood of neck pain. It also minimises the possibility of uneventful falls or mishaps resulting from drowsiness during the day.

Sleeping on time or whenever you need to rest helps the aching muscles around the neck relax and keeps pain at bay. 

Neck massage

A healing massage proves quite relaxing when you feel your neck and shoulders stiffening due to a hyper-busy work schedule that demands you stay seated in front of the screen. 

However, when opting for a neck massage, remember to use only carrier oils such as coconut oil or olive oil. Most pain-relieving oils available in stores contain essential oils that are deemed toxic for the baby in the womb.

Searching for the “Best Spine Doctors Near Me”?

Pregnancy is a momentous phase in a woman’s life, and dealing with pain at this crucial stage can be unsettling.

If you are experiencing neck pain during pregnancy, it is crucial to identify the exact cause and adopt lifestyle changes to alleviate the discomfort. Avoid purchasing products that claim to eliminate neck pain without proper guidance, as many pain-relief products are unsafe for use during pregnancy. Always seek expert advice before buying any product and take necessary precautions to ensure its safety.

Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is key to preventing pregnancy-related pain and other complications. When exercising, pay attention to your comfort level. If certain postures cause discomfort, avoid them and find alternative ways to stay active. Rest is also essential, but prolonged inactivity should be avoided to prevent new health issues from arising.

While managing neck pain with home remedies can help reduce its frequency to some extent, without understanding the exact cause, full recovery with at-home treatments is unlikely.

Don’t let neck pain play a hurdle in your journey to motherhood. Contact us at NeuroWellness for relief.

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Dr. Ganesh Veerabhadraiah is a leading Neurosurgeon and Interventional Neuroradiology Specialist at Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru. With over 23 years of experience, he's renowned for his expertise in brain and spine surgeries.Trained at prestigious institutions like Manipal Hospital and University Hospital Zurich, Dr. Ganesh is dedicated to providing cutting-edge neurological care. Read More :