Specific exercises to treat pregnancy-related low back pain in a South African population
Article in Press
Objective: To investigate the effect of an exercise program, including specific stabilizing exercises, on pain intensity and functional ability in women with pregnancy-related low back pain. Methods: Fifty women between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy were recruited at Tygerberg and Paarl Hospitals, Western Cape, South Africa. Twenty-six women were randomized to a 10-week exercise program and 24 were randomized as controls. Results: Overall, the most frequent type of back pain experienced was lumbar pain (36 [72.0%]). Pain intensity (P = 0.76) and functional ability (P = 0.29) were comparable between the groups on study entry. In the study group, there was a significant improvement in pain intensity (P < 0.01) and an improvement in functional ability (P = 0.06) at the end of the study. In the control group, there were no significant changes in pain intensity (P = 0.89) or functional ability (P = 0.70) at the end of the study. Conclusion: A specific exercise program decreased back pain intensity and increased functional ability during pregnancy in South African women with lumbar and pelvic girdle pain. © 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.