Neck Pain In Expecting Mothers And How Physiotherapy Helps 19th June 2023

Postural changes: As the baby grows, the centre of gravity shifts forward, leading to changes in posture. This can cause the shoulders to round forward, straining the neck and upper back muscles.

Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones like relaxin cause ligaments and joints to become more flexible in preparation for childbirth. However, this increased flexibility can also lead to instability in the neck and contribute to pain.

Muscle tension: The physical and emotional stress of pregnancy can result in muscle tension in the neck and shoulder region. Stress, anxiety, and the weight of the growing baby can all contribute to muscle tightness and discomfort

Increased breast size: The breasts change during pregnancy, including enlargement and increased weight. This can alter the posture and put additional strain on the neck and upper back muscles.

Sleep position: Finding a comfortable sleep position can be challenging during pregnancy. Improper alignment and inadequate support while sleeping can contribute to neck pain.

Existing musculoskeletal conditions: If you had pre-existing neck or back problems before pregnancy, they may be exacerbated during this time due to the physical changes and added stress on the body.

Stress and tension: Pregnancy can bring about emotional and physical stressors, which may lead to muscle tension and tightness in the neck and shoulders. The combination of hormonal changes, physical demands, and emotional factors can exacerbate neck pain.


How physiotherapy helps healing neck pain in expectant mothers

Neck pain is a common complaint during pregnancy, and physiotherapy for neck pain can be an effective approach to managing and alleviating the discomfort. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a physiotherapist specifically trained in prenatal care to ensure the treatment is appropriate for your individual circumstances. They will be able to assess your condition and provide tailored advice.


Here are some general physiotherapy recommendations that may be beneficial for managing neck pain in expectant mothers:

Posture awareness: Maintaining good posture can help relieve strain on your neck. Your physiotherapist can teach you proper alignment and body mechanics to minimize stress on the neck and spine.

Stretching exercises: Gentle neck stretches can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Your physiotherapist can recommend safe stretches that you can perform at home.

Strengthening exercises: Strengthening the muscles supporting the neck and upper back can provide better support and stability. Your physiotherapist can guide you through appropriate exercises that are safe during pregnancy.

Ergonomic modifications: Adjusting your work environment, such as chair height and computer screen position, can reduce strain on your neck. Your physiotherapist can provide recommendations for ergonomic improvements.

Heat or cold therapy: Applying a warm compress or using ice packs on the neck area can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Discuss with your healthcare provider or physiotherapist which option is most suitable for you.

Manual therapy: In some cases, your physiotherapist may perform gentle manual therapy techniques to relieve muscle tension and improve joint mobility. However, they will consider the safety and appropriateness of these techniques during pregnancy.

Pelvic support belts: Depending on your specific condition, a physiotherapist may recommend using a pelvic support belt or maternity belt to provide additional support to your lower back and pelvis, which may indirectly help reduce strain on your neck.


Is there any risk factor?

Physiotherapy for neck pain during pregnancy is generally considered safe when performed by a trained professional. However, as with any medical intervention, there are some potential risks and considerations to keep in mind:

Individual assessment: Each person's condition is different, and it's important to have a thorough assessment by a qualified physiotherapist to determine the underlying cause of the neck pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan. This assessment will help identify any potential contraindications or precautions specific to your situation.

Avoiding certain techniques: Some manual therapy techniques, such as high-velocity thrusts or certain manipulations, may carry a higher risk during pregnancy and should be avoided. A skilled physiotherapist will be aware of these precautions and adapt the treatment accordingly.

Positioning during treatment: As pregnancy progresses, certain positions may become uncomfortable or pose risks for the mother and the baby. The physiotherapist should ensure that you are positioned comfortably and safely during the therapy session, using supportive pillows or equipment as needed.

Monitoring for warning signs: Although rare, certain symptoms during pregnancy, such as severe pain, dizziness, vaginal bleeding, or contractions, may indicate a more serious underlying condition. If you experience any of these symptoms during or after physiotherapy, seek medical attention promptly.

Always consult with your healthcare provider or a physiotherapist who specializes in prenatal care to ensure that the treatment plan is appropriate and safe for you. They will be able to assess your individual situation and provide personalized guidance to manage your neck pain effectively while minimizing any potential risks.


VL Therapy, a popular physiotherapy centre in Malaysia works successfully with hundreds of patients with various difficulties and is dedicated to providing a world-class service for every individual. A team of experienced educated and professional physiotherapists is providing various modern treatment plans of physiotherapy for neck pain to make all patients regain their health as per the need for looking not just at the immediate, but also to ensure that the relief becomes sustainable. To know more about the services please visit the official website