Prevalence of back pain in pregnancy

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1991 May;16(5):549-52. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199105000-00011.


The prevalence of back pain was studied in 855 pregnant women who were followed from the 12th week of pregnancy, every 2nd week, until childbirth. The 9-month period prevalence was 49%, with a point prevalence of 22-28% from the 12th week until delivery. Because 22% of the women had back pain at the 12th week of the pregnancy, the 6-month incidence was 27%. Based on pain drawings, back pain was classified into three groups: In one group, pain was localized to the sacroiliac areas and increased as pregnancy progressed; in the other two groups, pain either decreased or did not change, respectively. True sciatica with a dermatomal distribution occurred in only 10 women (1%). Back problems before pregnancy increased the risk of back pain, as did young age, multiparity, and several physical and psychological work factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Work