Arm Pain During Pregnancy Arm Aches During Pregnancy

Summary: Pregnancy is a beautiful experience for most women, but it also comes with its fair share of physical discomforts. One such discomfort is arm pain. Though not as common as other pregnancy-related pains, arm pain can cause significant strain and hinder daily activities. It is essential to understand the causes and remedies for arm pain during pregnancy.

1. What Causes Arm Pain During Pregnancy?

Arm pain during pregnancy can be due to various reasons. As the body goes through physical changes to accommodate the growing fetus, the pressure on the nerves increases, causing pain or numbness in the arms. The most common causes of arm pain include:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is located in the wrist and contains the median nerve, which provides sensation to the fingers. During pregnancy, fluid retention can lead to swelling in this area, compressing the nerve, causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or shooting pain in the fingers, hands, and arms.


Tendons connect muscles to bones and help in movement. Increased hormone levels during pregnancy can cause tendons to loosen, leading to tendinitis- a condition where tendons become inflamed. Tendinitis can be felt as a dull ache or sharp pain in the arms.


Bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion bones, tendons, and muscles near joints. Pregnancy can cause inflammation of these sacs in the shoulders, elbows, or wrists, resulting in pain or discomfort in the arms.

2. How to Relieve Arm Pain During Pregnancy?

Dealing with arm pain can be challenging, especially when you’re pregnant. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to relieve arm pain during pregnancy and continue with daily activities comfortably. Here are some tips:


It is essential to take breaks throughout the day to rest your arms. Avoid performing repetitive tasks for long periods, such as typing or carrying heavy objects, as it can worsen the pain.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching can help relieve tension and increase flexibility of the muscles and tendons. Consult your doctor or a physical therapist before starting any exercise routine. Some recommended stretches for arm pain include wrist extensions, bicep curls, and neck rotations.

Hot and Cold Compresses

Applying a hot or cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and numbness. A hot compress can soothe sore muscles, while a cold compress can help reduce swelling.

3. Can Medication Provide Relief?

Over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen can provide relief for mild to moderate arm pain. However, it is essential to consult your doctor before taking any medication, as some medicines can be harmful to the developing fetus. You must avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen throughout pregnancy.

Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid injection if the pain is severe and interferes with daily activities. Corticosteroids are safe during pregnancy and can help reduce inflammation in the affected area.

4. When Should I Consult a Doctor?

Arm pain during pregnancy is common, but in some cases, it may indicate an underlying medical condition. You must seek medical attention if:

-The pain is severe and persistent

-You experience swelling or discoloration in the arms

-You have difficulty moving your arms or hands

-You experience weakness or loss of strength in the arms or hands

5. Can Arm Pain Be Prevented during Pregnancy?

Though arm pain during pregnancy cannot be entirely prevented, some measures can help reduce the likelihood of it occurring:

-Try to maintain good posture throughout the day

-Take frequent breaks while performing repetitive tasks

-Avoid lifting heavy objects

-Wear supportive shoes to reduce strain on your feet and ankles


Arm pain during pregnancy can be distressing, but with proper care and management, it’s possible to alleviate discomfort and continue daily activities. Rest, stretching exercises, hot and cold compresses, and medication under medical supervision can provide relief. Avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain and seeking medical attention if necessary can prevent complications. Remember, a healthy pregnancy requires taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.

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