The shoulder joint, along with other organs in the body, undergo many changes during pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s body produces a hormone called relaxin, which relaxes all the arteries in the body in preparation for childbirth. Opening of the arteries as well as changes in sleeping posture, standing and walking posture can cause shoulder pain in pregnant women. They are also more prone to sprains, bruises or falls which can turn a slight pain in the shoulder into a severe discomfort. Therefore, it is important to take care of your shoulder health during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant you know that all the new, exciting changes in your body come with a few hiccups. Some of these include being tired for a long time and feeling pain, butterflies, and tension in your abdomen and back. Pregnancy can also cause pain in parts of the body that seem to be far away from where all the steps are taking. You may be surprised to learn that your new shoulder pain can be directly related to your pregnancy. Shoulder pain (like any other pain) can be common during pregnancy. But, sometimes, shoulder pain – along with other symptoms, can be a sign that something is not right at all. During pregnancy you have shoulder pain is important.
During pregnancy, shoulder pain can be a symptom of something as simple as a bad night’s sleep. It may also indicate a more serious condition, which may require treatment. During pregnancy a woman’s body releases chemicals to relax the arteries in the body and prepare for childbirth. If the ligaments of the knees, hips, spine, neck and shoulders relax there is a high risk of injury through vascular disorders and depression. Rapid weight gain and poor posture can also cause pressure and strain on the shoulders. Women should know this and work to maintain proper posture. When exercising, it is important to stick to low-impact activities or train a qualified pregnancy trainer.
It is not uncommon to have shoulder pain when you are pregnant and it can occur for a number of reasons, mild during your pregnancy. There are a few rare causes of shoulder pain that can be harmful. These include early ectopic pregnancy in the first trimester and preeclampsia during your second or third trimester. Always check with your healthcare provider immediately if you have sudden, shocking, or severe pain. Tell your doctor about any symptoms that do not feel normal. You know your body better than anyone else, even if you are pregnant.
Symptoms of pain between shoulder blades during pregnancy
The most common causes of shoulder pain can occur at any time during your pregnancy, too. That is why you should tell your doctor if you have shoulder pain or any other unusual symptoms.
- changes in sleeping posture
- muscle stiffness.
- severe pain in your upper right abdomen which is getting worse
- back pain between your shoulder blades
- swelling of the hands
- sensitivity to light
- pain when breathing deeply
- pain on the upper right side
Causes of pain between shoulder blades during pregnancy
Stress; Shoulder pain may be due to stress in the shoulder region. Or it may be a symptom of a underlying condition or injury to another part of the body. Some possible causes of shoulder pain are:
Excessive or unbalanced weight; in the abdomen can also cause blade pain during the second trimester. Here, the pain occurs in the lower back and spreads to the muscles of the back and shoulders.
Trimester; Left shoulder pain occurs frequently in the second and third trimesters when women lie on their left arm for better blood flow to the embryo.
Preeclampsia; Severe right shoulder pain is, in some cases, a sign of preeclampsia, a condition in which a pregnant woman’s blood pressure and protein level in her urine.
Tension and stiffness; When shoulder pain is compounded by tension and stiffness in the upper back and skull base, headaches, and migraines, dementia can be the cause.
Ectopic or tubal; Shoulder pain during early pregnancy should be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or a tube that requires immediate medical intervention. In this condition, the developing embryo begins to grow in the fallopian tubes or cervix instead of the uterus.
Weight gain and posture changes; Increasing body weight and unbalanced posture can increase the risk of shoulder pain. Stretching abdominal muscles, prolonged bad posture, or sudden pulling on muscles can also spread pain to the shoulders.
Gallstones; Perhaps you are experiencing shoulder pain because of gallstones that are deposits of cholesterol or calcium in the gallbladder or bile ducts. People with gallstones have a burning sensation in the upper abdomen that radiates back and shoulder.
In some cases, shoulder pain can be caused by stomach problems such as constipation, bloating, stomach and stomach ulcers. This type of pain comes out of the abdomen and spreads to the back and shoulder.
Prevention of pain between the shoulder blades during pregnancy
You will not be able to prevent much pain between the shoulder blades during pregnancy. Frequent shoulder pain is a common part of pregnancy. But it can help prevent serious complications like preeclampsia. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to control high blood pressure during pregnancy. This is how you can avoid pain between shoulder blades during pregnancy;
- Sleep well with raised pillows to prevent tension in the shoulder area.
- Eat your diet well to avoid stomach issues that can cause shoulder pain.
- Maintain good posture while standing, sitting, walking, and lying down to prevent shoulder pain.
- Engage in safe sex as STIs can cause scars in the genital area, leading to ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
- Quit smoking to reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- Replace the mattress if it is the cause of your pain.
- Try a chiropractor or therapist to help reduce shoulder pain and promote good health.
- Instead of healthy snacks for junk food during tea and between meals.
- Rest. Doing anything one day a week does wonders for health, rest and well-being.
- Buy a new mattress, get a sleeping mask and noise-canceling headphones, all of these sleeping accessories do wonders for sleep quality.
Stretching the shoulder blades during pregnancy
Abdominal growth, enlargement of breast tissue, and a moving center of gravity, gestational posture are often seen as front shoulders, rotation in front of the head, and increased lumbar spine. All of this puts a lot of pressure on the body and can cause discomfort, neck pain, headaches and more. Reduce this pressure and stretch the shoulder during pregnancy.
Thread the needle; Starting at the table, take a deep breath and reach for your right hand toward the ceiling, opening your chest. Breathe to catch your right hand through the space between your left arm and your left leg. Keep your right hand flat on the ground by stretching it out of your shoulder. Roll your left hand forward towards the top of the mat, looking into your left eyes.
Downward facing dog or puppy dog pose; Start at the table with knees slightly wider than your hips and shoulders arranged over arms. Hold your toes and lift your hips up in the air, as you press the ground away through your palms. Place a generous bend in your knees, as you gain height at your back.
Banded archer; Hold the exercise band on your right arm. Raise your right hand over your head and bend your elbow to reach the back of your head in the middle of your back. With your left hand on your side, tap your elbow to allow your left hand to hold the exercise band. Bring your hands very close and comfortable to open your chest.
Child’s pose; From the top of the table, bend your knees wider than your hips. Shift your hips back and down as you reach for the hands forward, bringing the forehead, chin, or chest to the mat. Bring the stretch into your side body by reaching your hands towards the left side of the mat, then right.
Shoulder flossing; Raise your hands to the sides, parallel to your shoulders, reaching as if you are trying to touch the walls of the room. Start with one palm looking up and one palm looking down. Roll your arms, changing which palm is facing upwards and which is facing downwards, as if you are squeezing your shoulders.
Treatment of pain between shoulder blades during pregnancy
Certain painkillers can be harmful during pregnancy and should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. So, instead of relieving shoulder pain, you can follow simple steps to reduce pain;
1. Adjust Your Bedtime
Pregnant or not, you should get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. But if you are like most of us, there is a possibility of 5-6 hours being the case. Pregnancy is not a time for changing sleep. Your body is growing a new life and you need more time to rest and recover. Lack of sleep will not necessarily affect your baby, but it will affect you. Your bedtime is one of the few things you can control during pregnancy. Give 7 or 8 hours from the time you need to be awake. Remove 45 minutes to 15 minutes for your hygiene routine at bedtime and 30 minutes for bed rest and sleep.
Massage during pregnancy can be a great help during your pregnancy, allowing you to relax and support the various pains and shoulder pain that usually occur. Pregnancy can be a time of emotion and challenge, massage can help you control pain and stress and prepare for birth. A caring professional provides an environment for nurturing and support, and seeing the same professional during your pregnancy means they know you, your body and your needs.
Doorway Stretch. Stand in front of an open door in your home and stretch your arms out to your sides so that your elbows are above the door. Your arms should be raised 90 degrees and your elbows should be 90 degrees. Gently lean forward to feel a good stretch through your chest and on your upper back.
- Rib Stretch; Lie on your right side of the bed and bend your left leg into the pillow. Rotate your upper left body bringing your left shoulder to the bed. Your legs and hips should not move. Breathe slowly as you move around and gently stretch.
- Wall Squats with an exercise ball; Stand leaning against the exercise ball on the wall. The legs should be shoulder-width apart. Sit on the floor as if you were sitting on a chair (if your knees hurt, extend your legs a little farther). Just go down to the seat height.
4. Stretch yourself
Stretching exercises can help you get rid of pain between the shoulder blades during pregnancy. It is much better when you do them from the right posture. Now, you may want to try this stretch:
- Arm stretches; Pull your hands forward, keeping your body straight. Make sure the same shoulder blades move with them. After a few seconds, pull the same shoulder blades by pulling your hands back.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together; Stretch your arms out to your sides, and bend them with your fingers toward your shoulders. At the same time, pull the shoulder back. Hold this position for a few seconds then stretch your arms again.
- Hug an imaginary ball; Bend your knees and keep your body straight. Imagine a big ball in front of you, twist your pelvis and hug the ball. Hold on for a while. After that, open your shoulders and put your hands back.
In addition, it may be beneficial for you to stretch your lower back as well. When you treat your body as a whole, your whole body benefits.
5. Good sleeping position
After the first trimester, most women feel new strength; morning sickness is over and fatigue is replaced by feeling just a little tired. But somewhere around the 15th week of pregnancy, when it is no longer appropriate to sleep on the stomach or back, sleeping at night can be a problem. As your pregnant body grows, you will spend many nights sleeping on your side.
Sleeping on the side can cause back, shoulder and even barley pain, all of which cause sleep disturbances and start your day. There are things you can do to prepare yourself for a better night’s sleep. Keep in mind, though, that there is no prescriptive drug that will stop the flow of emotions, though their effects can be curtailed.
A pregnant woman should not hesitate to call a doctor if shoulder pain persists for days and is accompanied by symptoms such as high fever, pressure on the rectum, shoulder stiffness, and pain as well as swelling and skin color.