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How to Relieve Shoulder Pain During Pregnancy

The best method for relief of shoulder pain during pregnancy is to apply warm compresses and gently stretch the arm and shoulder muscles. Shoulder pain can result from a number of different factors during pregnancy. In some cases, shoulder pain can indicate a serious health problem. You should be particularly careful about taking over-the-counter pain relievers for shoulder discomfort. Check with your obstetrician before using any medication.

Hormonal fluctuations and physical changes related to pregnancy can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including shoulder pain. Home remedies can often be effective for symptoms related to pregnancy. In some cases, symptoms can be associated with health problems that should be addressed by your doctor.

Table of Contents

How to Quickly Relive Shoulder Pain During a Pregnancy

Shoulder pain can be a troublesome problem during pregnancy. Fortunately, several options are available to manage shoulder discomfort.

Apply a warm compress

A warm compress can be helpful in relieving shoulder pain and stiffness. Your local pharmacy or pharmacy section offers a number of different products that can be warmed in the microwave oven.

Try gentle stretches

Performing gentle arm and shoulder stretching exercises can stimulate blood circulation and reduce tension and strain in shoulder muscles.

Use a support pillow

Using additional pillows to support the shoulder when lying down can help to reduce discomfort and facilitate a better night’s sleep. You can use the pillows to prop the shoulder either towards the front of the body or towards the back, as needed.

Adjust your posture

The increasing weight in the abdomen can cause your body to shift markedly into uncomfortable posture positions. Being aware of your posture can help to ensure that you are aligning your spine properly to reduce strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.

Take a warm bath

A warm bath can help to relax muscles and stimulate blood circulation to affected areas I soothe soreness and tension.

Get a prenatal massage

Prenatal massages can help a variety of physical discomforts related to pregnancy. Common problems like lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder discomfort and headaches respond well to relaxing massage techniques.

Try prenatal yoga

Yoga can be a valuable practice for dealing with pregnancy aches and pain. The yoga poses help to stretch and strengthen areas of the body that are often affected by pregnancy discomfort.

Use a cold pack

Cold packs are often used in sports to reduce discomfort from injuries and improve healing. The cold reduces swelling and inflammation and helps to numb pain.

Consider over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful for reducing shoulder pain. However, you should always check with your doctor before using any medication during pregnancy.

Adjust your sleeping position

Your sleeping position may be making your shoulder pain worse during pregnancy. Loosening of the joints can occur as a result of hormonal changes of pregnancy. You may need to change your position to the other side or try sleeping on your back.

Understanding the Causes of Shoulder Pain During Pregnancy

A number of physical changes occur during pregnancy that can contribute to shoulder pain.

Changes in body weight and center of gravity shifts

Increased weight causes the center of gravity in the human body to shift, which can lead to stress on muscles and joints.

Poor posture and spinal curvature

The advancing pregnancy causes more weight in the abdomen, which can result in postural adjustment and increased curvature of the spine.

Muscle spasms and sore muscles

Painful muscle spasms can occur during pregnancy, leading to sore muscles and impaired movement.

Seeking Medical Attention for Severe Shoulder Pain

If you are having severe shoulder pain, consult with your doctor immediately to determine the cause and administer the appropriate treatment.

Importance of consulting a healthcare provider for persistent or severe pain

If you are experiencing severe or persistent pain, contact your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do shoulders hurt during pregnancy?

Hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy often cause muscle and joint discomfort.

What is the fastest way to cure shoulder pain?

Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can provide the fastest relief from shoulder pain. However, you should consult with your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy.

What is the best medicine for shoulder pain?

Acetaminophen, brand name Tylenol, is generally safe to use for shoulder pain during pregnancy. However, according to the Healthgrades site, medical experts recommend taking the lowest dose for the least amount of time necessary. Your doctor can provide more information on medicine you can take safely.

Can I massage my shoulders during pregnancy?

Shoulder massage is safe to perform during pregnancy.

What is a home remedy for shoulder pain?

Cold and heat therapy can be effective home remedies for pregnancy-related shoulder pain.

How should I sleep with shoulder pain?

You can sleep on the opposite side to avoid shoulder pain, or you can prop the shoulder with additional pillows to reduce compression of the shoulder joint.

Can walking reduce shoulder pain?

Walking can reduce shoulder pain if you swing the arms gently to loosen the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the shoulder joint as you move.

Is it normal to have pain in both shoulders in early pregnancy?

Pain in both shoulders can occur normally during the first months of pregnancy as hormonal changes cause changes in the joints of the body.

Is shoulder pain related to miscarriage?

Shoulder pain is not related to miscarriage. However, shoulder pain can be symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, a condition that arises when the fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus when it normally grows.

Is neck and shoulder pain common in pregnancy?

Muscle and joint discomfort is common during early pregnancy and results from hormonal effects on the body.

Is shoulder and neck pain normal in early pregnancy?

Increased blood volume, along with pregnancy-related hormones, can produce shoulder and neck discomfort that is perfectly normal.

How can I stop shoulder pain?

Massage, exercise and cold or heat packs can stop common shoulder pain.

When I sleep on my side my shoulder hurts

Shoulder pain is a common problem during pregnancy. Propping the shoulder during sleep or changing your sleeping position may help relieve shoulder discomfort.

Can gas cause shoulder pain?

Yes, having gas trapped in your chest cavity can cause shoulder pain or pain in the ribs. Taking an over-the-counter antacid can help to eliminate gas and provide relief from discomfort.

Shoulder pain during pregnancy 3rd trimester

During the 3rd trimester, shoulder pain is most often a result of physical changes to the joints. However, preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine, can also produce shoulder pain at this stage. Development of gallstones can also lead to shoulder discomfort in the 3rd trimester.

Right shoulder pain pregnancy third trimester

According to the Mayo Clinic, gallstones can be the cause of right arm pain during pregnancy. Gallstones are hard, stony deposits of digestive fluids that can become stuck in the ducts leading to pain and other symptoms. Treatment may be needed to relieve symptoms, involving medications to dissolve stones or surgery.

Left shoulder pain pregnancy first trimester

Left shoulder pain that occurs at the tip, where the shoulder meets the arm could be a symptom of ectopic pregnancy, a condition that requires immediate medical care. Consult with your doctor.

Left arm pain during pregnancy first trimester

Left arm pain may be related to pregnancy hormone changes or from overuse.

Upper left arm pain during pregnancy

Upper left arm pain during pregnancy is most likely a result of the hormone relaxin that loosens joints in preparation for birth.

Right arm pain during pregnancy first trimester

Right arm pain during pregnancy is usually related to hormonal changes that prepare the body for birth. According to the UT Southwestern Medical Center, individuals may have carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist or generalized pain in arm muscles.