Regression of pelvic girdle pain after delivery: follow-up of a randomised single blind controlled trial with different treatment modalities

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2008;87(2):201-8. doi: 10.1080/00016340701823959.


Objective: An earlier publication showed that acupuncture and stabilising exercises as an adjunct to standard treatment was effective for pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, but the post-pregnancy effects of these treatment modalities are unknown. The aim of this follow-up study was to describe regression of pelvic girdle pain after delivery in these women.

Design: A randomised, single blind, controlled trial.

Setting: East Hospital and 27 maternity care centres in Göteborg, Sweden.

Population: Some 386 pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain.

Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to standard treatment plus acupuncture (n=125), standard treatment plus specific stabilising exercises (n=131) or to standard treatment alone (n=130).

Primary outcome measures: pain intensity (Visual Analogue Scale).

Secondary outcome measure: assessment of the severity of pelvic girdle pain by an independent examiner 12 weeks after delivery.

Results: Approximately three-quarters of all the women were free of pain 3 weeks after delivery. There were no differences in recovery between the 3 treatment groups. According to the detailed physical examination, pelvic girdle pain had resolved in 99% of the women 12 weeks after delivery.

Conclusions: This study shows that irrespective of treatment modality, regression of pelvic girdle pain occurs in the great majority of women within 12 weeks after delivery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Puerperal Disorders / therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method