Overall rating



M-Th 9am - 6pm

Neck Pain Symptoms and Causes and During Pregnancy

Patient ResourcesContact Us
A pregnant woman with black hair wearing a gray t-shirt and black leggings sitting on the edge of her bed with one hand across the top of her stomach and the other reaching back to her shoulder with an expression of discomfort.

Neck pain is a common problem that many women suffer from during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, her body is constantly going through a number of changes. These changes occur very quickly. As the baby grows, the added weight of the pregnancy can take its toll on a woman’s spine and body. The hormones and stress that affect a woman’s body during pregnancy can be quite difficult on a woman.

A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas is familiar with the special care that a woman needs during pregnancy to reduce or eliminate back and neck pain. However, knowing what causes the pain is the first step in treating the problem. We’ve put together some information to help you understand what may be causing your back and neck pain during pregnancy.

Back and Neck Pain from Changes in Posture

The natural shape of the human spine isn’t perfectly straight. In fact, it naturally curves inward at both the neck and the lower back while curving outward at the ends of the spine and near the bottom of the rib cage. The spine is designed this way to maximize elasticity and flexibility while minimizing the chances of injury.

During pregnancy, the weight of the growing baby and surrounding fluids and tissue actually changes the curvature of the spine. This can cause stress and pain to the muscles in the lower back. When one part of the spine is affected by something, often times the rest of the spine and surrounding muscles try to compensate for the change. This means that even though the majority of the change has occurred in the lower back, the upper back and neck may also be affected.

A growing belly also has an impact on how a woman moves to accomplish everyday tasks during her pregnancy. Pregnancy also changes a woman’s center of gravity. Tasks that are easily performed by someone who is not pregnant can become more difficult for someone who is pregnant. It can be much easier for a woman who’s pregnant to injure her back from normal activity due to the changes in her body.

Back and Neck Pain from a Lack of Exercise

Another common cause of back and neck pain during pregnancy stems from a lack of exercise. Early on in pregnancy, most women experience morning sickness and extreme fatigue. It’s easy during the first trimester to let exercise routines lapse.

In the second trimester, many women experience reduced morning sickness and more energy, but for others the fatigue continues. At this point in the pregnancy weight has increased somewhat as the baby grows. While some women return to the gym during this time, many do not.

During the third trimester many women avoid exercising due to the size of the baby along with the decreased mobility and comfort levels. It’s important to discuss exercise options with your doctor throughout the course of your pregnancy. Stopping your exercise routine can actually result in back and neck pain. Without exercise, the muscles tighten and atrophy.

Pregnancy hormones also soften joints. This means that the ligaments in your body due less, requiring your muscles to do more to hold joints into place. Without exercise, these joints can become too lose or compress nerves and cause pain. This is particularly noticeable in women whose daily life includes long periods at a desk. Many people do not practice good posture while working at a desk and pregnant women are no exception. The hunched posture that people often develop while working at a desk or bent over can create and intensify back and neck pain.

Pregnancy Related Back and Neck Pain Due to Injury

Not all pregnant women skip out on the exercise during their pregnancy. Some women still find the time to exercise regularly during pregnancy. However, this does not make them exempt from experiencing back and neck pain.

A pregnant woman may try to keep up with her current exercise routine and experience an injury. This can be due to the hormones which loosen joints or because of the change in center of gravity. Exercises that you may have been able to do without problem before, may now pose the threat of injury. This can be particularly true when it comes to abdominal exercises. These types of exercises have an increased risk of causing back and neck pain. As abdominal muscles weaken to make room for the growing baby, it can be more difficult to correctly perform abdominal exercises. This can lead to improper form during the exercise routine which places additional strain on an already stressed back and neck.

Speaking with your doctor about what exercises are appropriate for your phase of pregnancy is important. This knowledge can help you protect yourself from suffering back and neck pain due to an exercise injury. Pregnancy is taxing enough on a woman’s body. You don’t want to contribute to your back and neck pain with exercises that aren’t appropriate for your pregnancy.


If you have any questions about back and neck pain during pregnancy please contact A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas at (940) 566-0000.


Call Us Now