A specific exercise program decreased back pain intensity and increased functional ability during pregnancy in South African women with lumbar and pelvic girdle pain, say authors of an article published in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
For this study, researchers recruited 50 women between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy from the Tygerberg and Paarl Hospitals in Western Cape, South Africa. Twenty-six women were randomized to a 10-week exercise program; 24 were randomized as controls.
Overall, the most frequent type of back pain experienced was lumbar pain (36 [72.0%]). Pain intensity and functional ability were comparable between the groups on study entry. Women in the exercise group experienced significant improvement in pain intensity and improvement in functional ability at the end of the study. In the control group, there were no significant changes in pain intensity or functional ability at the end of the study.