Water aerobics reduces sick leave due to low back pain during pregnancy

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2006 Jul-Aug;35(4):465-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00066.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain / prevention & control*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Swimming*
  • Treatment Outcome