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20 weeks pregnant. Started getting prickly sensations on chest and back. Any remedies?

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Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 689 Questions
Hi: My wife is in her 20th week of pregnancy and she has intense prickly sensations on her chest and her back which is very painful.
Any remedies to steps to prevent recurrence?
Posted Thu, 22 Nov 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 50 minutes later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

I appreciate your concern.

I would like you to elaborate more about your wife's problem.

The prickly sensation she is having is it associated with pain or does she have only feeling of fullness?

Is she also having numbness down her arm, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath while she has those chest sensations?

Is the prickly sensation more of a burning sensation or heartburn?

Is the sensation only limited to her breasts or the entire chest is involved?

Does she have any vaginal discharge or lower abdomen pain?

Kindly revert back with answers so that I explain you the problem better.

Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 20 weeks pregnant. Started getting prickly sensations on chest and back. Any remedies? 5 minutes later

Thanks for getting back!
Below are the answers to your queries:
1. The prickly sensation is associated with pain. (no feeling of fullness)
2. No numbness, but a little shortness of breath.
3. No burning sensation, nor heartburn.
4. Only upper chest and the upper back prickly sensations.
5. No vaginal discharge, nor lower abdomen pain.

Look forward to hearing back soon.
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 50 minutes later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

To a certain extent it is normal to have chest pain during pregnancy. This is especially true in the initial stages of pregnancy. This is because during the first and second trimester the baby keeps growing in size. This may put pressure on the stomach and the diaphragm which could lead to shortness of breath and chest pain.
However if severe other serious causes need to be considered.

The other possibility of mild chest pain in pregnancy can be due to gas that get trapped under the ribs. This can lead to transient but sharp chest pain during pregnancy. This kind of indigestion can also lead to upper abdominal bloating.
This is a transient condition and normally resolves on its own in a couple of hours and is rarely a persistent problem to deal with. However, the best option for dealing with such a condition is to prevent the occurrence of gas by avoiding foods that cause gas like pulses (dals) and legumes.

Anemia (low hemoglobin) is another common cause of chest pain during the course of pregnancy. This can present with shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue and weakness.

One of the symptoms of calcium deficiency is muscle cramping, which can occur in chest muscle, leading to breast pain. This could lead to chest pain. To prevent the occurrence of this condition, it is best to have calcium supplements.

Iron and calcium deficiency is very common in pregnancy as body requirements for these increase. So regular intake of supplements is a must.

Other serious cause of chest pain can be lung infections particularly pleuritis (infection of covering of lung).
This causes a sharp chest pain that worsens with breathing in or coughing. The pain may start and remain in one specific area of the chest wall or it may spread to the shoulder or back.

I suggest you to XXXXXXX your gynecologist and get a complete physical examination done. This would help rule out anemia and lung infections and if required blood test or Chest X-ray can be done depending on the examination findings.
If everything turns out to be normal, then there is nothing to worry.

In pregnancy, balanced diet with small frequent meals is required.
Avoid lying flat on the back for long time. Sleeping in left lateral position is advisable.
Also adequate rest with plenty of fluids helps maintain hydration.
Regular check ups with your gynecologist is a must in pregnancy to ensure everything is going well with you and your baby.

Wishing you all the best.

Do revert back if you have further queries.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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