Shoulder pain during pregnancy is a common occurrence. It can be a result of a bad night sleep or something more serious like Hellp Syndrome.
In today’s article, we’ll take a look some treatment options you can take to reduce aches and pain in the shoulder.
Let’s start by outlining 7 ways to prevent pain according to Keerthy Ramachandran from momjunction.com.
7 Preventive Measures To Keep Shoulder Pain At Bay During Pregnancy
Follow these simple guidelines to keep shoulder pain at bay in pregnancy.
1. Maintain an upright posture while standing. Do not slouch.
2. Avoid standing for too long in a single position.
3. While standing, use the left and right foot alternately.
4. Take the aid of more pillows to keep your thighs in a parallel position.
5. Reduce carrying weight.
6. Wear comfortable footwear that evenly spreads the weight.
7. Change your bras and get professionally fitted ones. Wear appropriate maternity bras with wide straps that will reduce the weight of the enlarging breasts on the spine
Sometimes, severe pain in the right or left shoulder could be an indication of Ectopic pregnancy. A condition where the egg will implant itself outside of the womb. Here are some of the symptoms you should look out for.
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy
Some women don’t have any symptoms at first. They may not find out they have an ectopic pregnancy until an early scan shows the problem or they develop more serious symptoms later on.
You may have an ectopic pregnancy if you miss a period, have a positive pregnancy test and/or have other signs of pregnancy, in addition to any of the symptoms listed below.
Contact your GP or call NHS 111 if you have a combination of any of these symptoms and you think you might be pregnant – even if you haven’t had a positive pregnancy test.
Vaginal bleeding tends to a bit different to your regular period. It often starts and stops, and may be watery and dark brown in colour.
Some women mistake this bleeding for a regular period and don’t realise they’re pregnant.
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is relatively common and isn’t necessarily a sign of a serious problem, but you should seek medical advice if you experience it.
You may experience tummy pain, typically low down on one side. It can develop suddenly or gradually, and may be persistent or come and go.
Tummy pain can have lots of causes, including stomach bugs and trapped wind, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you have an ectopic pregnancy. But you should get medical advice if you have it and think you might be pregnant.
Shoulder tip pain
Shoulder tip pain is an unusual pain felt where your shoulder ends and your arm begins.
It’s not known exactly why it occurs, but it can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy causing some internal bleeding, so you should get medical advice right away if you experience it.
Discomfort when going to the toilet
You may experience pain when going for a pee or poo. You may also have diarrhoea.
Some changes to your normal bladder and bowel patterns are normal during pregnancy, and these symptoms can be caused by urinary tract infections and stomach bugs. However, it’s still a good idea to seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms and think you might be pregnant.
Symptoms of a rupture
In a few cases, an ectopic pregnancy can grow large enough to split open the fallopian tube. This is known as a rupture.
Ruptures are very serious and surgery to repair the fallopian tube needs to be carried out as soon as possible.
Signs of a rupture include a combination of:
- a sharp, sudden and intense pain in your tummy
- feeling very dizzy or fainting
- feeling sick
- looking very pale
If ectopic pregnancy is not an issue and it’s just a case of sore muscles, then here are some tips from the fine folks at Wikihow.com on how to get rid of sore muscles during pregnancy.
Trying Lifestyle Changes
Do stretching exercises. Excessive tightness in your muscles can increase soreness. Try stretching exercises to loosen up a bit. Stretching exercises help avoid further muscle tightening, and relieve the muscles of their soreness.
- Stretching exercises have been shown to be beneficial for your joints during pregnancy.
- Your joints loosen as your body expands to accommodate the growing baby, so stretching them can keep them feeling healthier with less pain during this time of change.
Maintain a healthy weight to relieve stress on the muscles. The ideal total weight gain for the entire term of your pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds. Many women are overweight in pregnancy, so it is important to talk to your doctor about a healthy amount of weight gain (an amount that adequately supports your baby’s growth while not being excessive.)
- The heavier you are (and note here we are talking about excessive, not normal, pregnancy weight gain), the greater the force of gravity is on your body. Gravity causes more stress to your muscles as you move, and can contribute to muscle soreness.
- If you are in doubt, speak to your family doctor or obstetrician about the amount of weight gain that is ideal for you during your pregnancy.
- Continue aerobic (fat-burning) exercise during pregnancy, as this can prevent excessive weight gain. Although you will need to consume approximately 300 extra calories per day for your growing baby, many women gain too much weight during pregnancy so keeping up an exercise routine can be helpful in this regard.
- Aerobic exercise includes things such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or other activities that get your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes. Try to do this at least 3 times a week.
- If excessive weight gain is an issue for you, exercising more will diminish your weight, which will help to reduce muscle soreness resulting from pregnancy.
- Reduce the intensity of your exercise regimen. While maintaining regular aerobic exercise is important, staying away from overly vigorous exercise is a good idea.You don’t want to exhaust yourself or push too hard during pregnancy as this can make you even more sore.
- It is best to take things slower and easier during pregnancy. If you are fond of going to the gym, running, and cycling, then try switching to a more mild form of exercise like yoga or pilates to reduce strain on your muscles.
- Swimming can be a good exercise, because it is very low impact.
Pain of any sort while you’re pregnant requires attention. Try some of the remedies mentioned above for shoulder pain and muscle soreness of any kind really. But, if you’re displaying any of the symptoms for either Hellp syndrome or ectopic pregnancy, see your doctor immediately.