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Pregnant. Experiencing pain in neck, shoulder and beast when taking deep breath. What is wrong?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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Hi I am pregnant in my 6th month. I have excruciating pain wen i breathe deeply in my upper back neck going down to my left shoulder and along the side of my left breast. Tylenol relieves the pain in the front but not helping the back. Can I assume its a draft or muscular issue?
Posted Sat, 20 Apr 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 4 hours later

Thanks for your query.

It does seem like a pain of musculo-skeletal origin. Such a pain is usually re-produced or exacerbated by touch. Deep breathing can also exacerbate such a pain. Another symptom that points towards it is that it is following a dermatome (area where the nerve goes). It starts at your back and follows a dermatome to go around your chest and ends in the front side of the chest.

Deep breathing can also exacerbate another type of pain that is pleuritic in origin. Pleura is a covering of the lungs. It can hurt when it is inflammed. Usually the origin of pain can be determined by clinical examination by a physician.

Tylenol is not the best medicine for pain but it is usually considered safe during pregnancy. Check for other options with your doctor.

Usually X-rays are not advised during pregnancy. Ultrasonography is considered safe.

In the meanwhile I will advise that you take adequate precautions regarding your posture and weight lifting. Do only light exercises. Do not over-exert your body. Take adequate rest on a semi-soft or an orthopedic mattress. Also take calcium supplements to keep your bones strong.

Hope I have addressed your concerns. Please revert back if you have doubts.

Dr Vaishalee Punj
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