Back and pelvic pain in an underserved United States pregnant population: a preliminary descriptive survey

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 Feb;30(2):130-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2006.12.008.


Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of back pain and treatment satisfaction in a population of low-socioeconomic pregnant women.

Methods: This study used a cross-sectional design to determine the prevalence of self-reported musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy for 599 women. Women completed an author-generated musculoskeletal survey in the second trimester of their pregnancy that addressed pain history, duration, location, and intensity, as well as activities of daily living, treatment frequency, and satisfaction with treatment.

Results: Sixty-seven percent of the total population reported musculoskeletal pain, and nearly half presented with a multi-focal pattern of pain that involved 2 or more sites. Twenty-one percent reported severe pain intensity rated on a numerical rating scale. Eighty percent of women experiencing pain slept less than 4 hours per night and 75% of these women took pain medications. Importantly, 85% of the women surveyed perceived that they had not been offered treatment for their musculoskeletal disorders.

Conclusion: Multi-focal musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy was prevalent in this underserved patient population. The pain in this population negatively affected sleep and treatment appeared inadequate.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Back Pain / drug therapy
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Parity
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Pelvic Pain / drug therapy
  • Pelvic Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Recurrence
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Analgesics