Objective: To study lumbopelvic pain in women randomized to a regular exercise program during pregnancy in comparison to women receiving standard antenatal care.
Design: A two-armed, two-center, randomized controlled trial. Setting. St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital and Stavanger University Hospital.
Population: A total of 855 pregnant women were randomized to intervention or control groups.
Methods: The intervention was a 12 week exercise program, including aerobic and strengthening exercises, conducted between 20 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. One weekly group session was led by physiotherapists, and home exercises were encouraged twice a week. The control group received standard antenatal care.
Main outcome measures: Self-reports of lumbopelvic pain and sick leave due to lumbopelvic pain. The data were analysed according to the "intention-to-treat" principle.
Results: There were no significant differences between groups of women reporting lumbopelvic pain at 36 weeks (74 vs. 75%, p=0.76). The proportion of women on sick leave due to lumbopelvic pain was lower in the intervention group (22% vs 31%, p=0.01).
Conclusions: Exercise during pregnancy does not influence the prevalence of lumbopelvic pain, but women offered a regular exercise course seem to handle the disorder better.
© 2012 The Authors Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica© 2012 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.