When Neck Pain Isn't Normal

If neck pain arises in the very early stages of pregnancy, it could be a warning that things are not well. One of the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy is shoulder pain, caused by blood from a rupture pressing on the diaphragm.

A tubal pregnancy is sometimes hard to diagnose and often it isn't until there is gross pain or bleeding that it comes to light. Obstetricians are keen to warn all women to watch for pain and bleeding, including shoulder and neck pain, as they are signs of a possible ectopic pregnancy.

Preeclampsia And HELLP Syndrome

Another disorder that presents with shoulder pain is preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders associated with pregnancy. These disorders are a leading cause of illness and death in pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.

Shoulder pain, often called referral pain, since it comes from the liver, may be a sign of HELLP syndrome. The acronym is a combination of "H" for hemolysis, the breakage of red blood cells, "EL" for elevated liver enzymes, and "LP" for low platelet count.

It is a syndrome that is a complication of preeclampsia and eclampsia, also known as toxemia, and it occurs in about 25% of pregnancies. This condition requires immediate medical intervention.


Meningitis is an inflammatory disease of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord, usually the result of an infection. The well-known symptoms associated with meningitis are headache, fever and a stiff neck.

Listeriosis is a bacteria that is known to promote meningitis, especially in pregnant women, because the bacteria crosses the placenta and manifests in inflammation.

Meningitis is mortally dangerous to unborn babies. Women who come in contact with others who have meningitis are advised strongly to contact their physicians immediately.

Most of the time, neck pain during pregnancy is quite benign, but it needs to be checked out regardless. Generally, all it takes to fix the problem is a new pillow - and that's a good thing.

Table of Contents
1. Neck Pain
2. When to worry
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