Headaches and Neck Pain while Pregnant- Cause, Treatment and Prevention
It’s not unusual to get tension headaches and neck pain during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. These headaches can feel like a steady dull ache or a squeezing pain on both sides of the head or the back of the neck.
Hormonal changes, increase in blood volume and circulation, and dehydration are some of the major causes of headaches during pregnancy.
Other potential causes of headaches include general fatigue, dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, lack of sleep, stress, depression, hunger, dehydration, low blood sugar, sinus congestion, eye strain, and allergies.
Neck pain is often caused by postural changes where the extra weight of the baby in the lower part of the abdomen changes the curvature of the spine, which stresses muscles of the lower back.
Headaches and Neck Pain while Pregnant- Treatment and Prevention
The best and probably most effective ways to treat headaches and neck pain while pregnant is avoiding them all together.
Check out some of the best ways to treat and prevent headaches and neck pain during pregnancy.
• Rest and Relax: Getting enough rest and relaxing properly during pregnancy can help relieve tension and stress; the main culprits of headaches.
• Get regular Exercise: Regular exercise relieves stress, improves blood circulation, and reduces tension
• Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet: Nutrition deficiencies can lead to a number of health complications during pregnancy, including headaches and migraines. Eat a diet containing recommended amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins
• Drink Plenty of Water: Dehydration causes headaches during pregnancy. You need at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of filtered water each day to prevent headaches
• Apply cold or heat packs to your head
• Take a warm shower or bath
• Try Body Massage: Prenatal massage is incredible for relieving headaches, relaxing and relieving pain on your neck, shoulders, and temples
• Try Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy with essential oils is great for relieving headaches and neck pains
• Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Both alternative treatments are great options for reducing migraine and headaches, as well as neck pain. Consult with your doctor before undertaking these treatments
• Try Reflexology
To treat and prevent neck pain;
• Practice good posture
• Engage in physical activities. A good option is swimming and neck stretch exercises
• Visit a chiropractor
• Place an ice pack on your neck during the day to reduce swelling and decrease inflammation and pain in the neck. It also provides an analgesic effect
• Avoid sleeping with too many pillows
• Proper sleep positions; positions that will ensure your neck is aligned with your spine
• Try Massage Therapy
• Try Acupuncture and Homeopathy
• Sit upright, always
• Try a Maternity Support Belt- the belts wraps around the hips and lower belly to support the lower abdominal muscles
• Wear right-size shoes for a comfortable fit
When to See a Medical Professional
Headaches and neck pain are normal occurrences during pregnancy and therefore should not be a cause for concern. Expect to get some relief after a short time or after using the above remedies. However, in severe cases, you may need to seek medical attention. See a doctor if;
• The above remedies fail to provide relief
• If the headaches and neck pain become persistent or get worse
• You experience headaches that are different than normal
• Headaches are accompanied by pain in the upper abdomen, blurry vision, sudden weight gain, and swelling on hands and face
If you are experiencing these symptoms, these remedies are a great alternative to over-the-counter medications. Should the symptoms persist, seek medical advice.