Objective: To compare the effect of a land-based, physical exercise program versus water aerobics on low back or pelvic pain and sick leave during pregnancy.
Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial.
Setting: Three antenatal care centers.
Participants: 390 healthy pregnant women.
Interventions: A land-based physical exercise program or water aerobic once a week during pregnancy.
Main outcome measures: Sick leave, pregnancy-related low back pain or pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, or both.
Results: Water aerobics diminished pregnancy-related low back pain (p=.04) and sick leave due to pregnancy-related low back pain (p=.03) more than a land-based physical exercise program.
Conclusions: Water aerobics can be recommended for the treatment of low back pain during pregnancy. The benefits of a land-based physical exercise program are questionable and further evaluation is needed.