Physiotherapy for Neck Pain in Women : During & Post Pregnancy

Physiotherapy during Pregnancy and after Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth are joyful times for the parents.

However, this is also a period during which there are many rapid physical and hormonal changes in the mother’s body. Pregnancy is a process that puts a significant strain on the mother’s body as she is growing a new life inside of her. Additionally, postpartum, her body once again changes in a much shorter period. 

You might unwittingly harm your long-term health if you are not mindful of your body and its changes. Proper nutrition, posture, and exercises are vital during pregnancy as well as after childbirth. If not, you might develop medical issues such as shoulder pain, lower back pain, incontinence, pelvic floor pain, etc. Physiotherapy can help you deal with your body’s changes during pregnancy. 

Problems during Pregnancy and after Childbirth

Pregnancy causes significant changes in your body weight, the center of gravity, and posture. This can cause the curve of your spine to increase, contributing to neck and shoulder pain.

Not knowing how to compensate for the increased weight and changing center of gravity can result in wrong postures that weaken abdominal muscle strength. This adds stress to your back & pelvis and can cause back pain. The pelvic floor muscles undergo extreme stretching and drain during vaginal delivery. This can result in incontinence

These medical issues can affect your long-term health. However, a good physiotherapist can treat these with gradual strengthening exercises and posture corrections.

Reasons for Neck Pain during Pregnancy and after Childbirth

Forty percent of young mothers suffer neck pain during and after pregnancy.

There are many reasons for neck pain. As you carry increased weight in your body, the curve of your cervical spine increases to compensate for the change in the center of gravity. This adds stress to your muscles and joints, which leads to neck and shoulder pain. 

After childbirth, you might be breastfeeding the baby for hours. Nursing the baby in the wrong posture can add to the problem. Other reasons for neck pain include lack of sleep, poor posture, muscle weakness due to pregnancy or childbirth, and anemia. 

How Women's Health Physiotherapy can Help

Women’s health physiotherapy can help you maintain correct posture, strengthen required muscles and lower the risk of injuries in the future.

A physiotherapist can give you individualized recommendations based on your needs and issues. It is not only issues such as neck pain, shoulder pain, or back pain that can be treated through physiotherapy, but also postpartum incontinence, diastasis recti, belly bulge, etc. They can safely take you through a regimen of progressive exercises and even suggest electrical stimulations to help treat these medical conditions.

Physiotherapy Exercises During Pregnancy for Neck Pain

Perform simple exercises such as:

→ Chin tucks: 

Bring your chin backward, creating a double chin. Only move your head and neck during this motion. Hold the tuck for 3-5 seconds, release, and repeat for 8-10 repetitions. 

 → Chin-to-chest:

Try to bring your chin down to touch your chest. If you cannot, don’t worry, you will eventually get there. Do 8-10 slow and controlled repetitions.

→ Neck Rotations:

Keep your shoulders down, rotate your neck clockwise, and then counter-clockwise. Repeat ten times.

→ Maintain Correct Posture:

Ensure that you maintain the correct posture during your pregnancy. Straighten your back, roll your shoulders, and align your neck with your spine. 

Physiotherapy Exercises Post Pregnancy for Neck Pain

Always consult your obstetrician or physiotherapist before attempting any exercise. Start gently with simple exercises like neck rotations and chin tucks. Stop if you feel pain or discomfort. 

→ Upper back Stretches:

Stand upright or sit with good back support. Stretch one arm towards the ceiling and the other arm towards the floor. Gently bend sideways from the waist, taking the upper arm over your head. Repeat for the other side.

→ Shoulder Stretches:

Stand upright, and clasp your hands together behind your back. Stretch shoulders down and back so that the shoulder blades squeeze together. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.

→ Middle & Upper Back Stretches:

Sit with good low back support. Turn the upper body towards one side, grasping the back of the chair with the opposite hand to stretch the middle and upper back. Repeat for the other side.

Also, ensure that you maintain a good posture and straight back when breastfeeding. Try not to look down at the baby the whole time because this posture can strain your neck. 

When should you call your doctor about pregnancy neck pain?

If your neck and shoulder pain persists for weeks and worsens over the days, consult a physiotherapist, Especially if you cannot carry on with your day-to-day activities.

Contact a doctor immediately if the pain increases, become unbearable, or spreads along your arms. For more information, visit our website.