Clinical course of pelvic girdle pain postpartum - impact of clinical findings in late pregnancy

Man Ther. 2014 Jun;19(3):190-6. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 22.


The aims were to study: prevalence of pelvic girdle pain (PGP) one year postpartum; clinical course of PGP, physical functioning (PF) and bodily pain (BP) (from SF-36, 0 (worst) to 100 (best)) from gestation week (GW) 30 to one year postpartum; and whether findings at GW30 were associated with development of PF and BP from GW30 to one year postpartum. 215 pregnant women were followed from GW30 to one year postpartum. Clinical examination and questionnaire were used at GW30, questionnaire only were used at 12 weeks and one year postpartum. The women were categorised by GW30 clinical variables: self-reported PGP, pain locations in the pelvis and response to two clinical tests. Linear mixed models for repeated measures were used to study PF and BP during follow-up, within the categories of clinical variables. PGP prevalence remained unchanged from 12 weeks to one year postpartum (31-30%). PF and BP scores improved markedly from GW30 to 12 weeks postpartum, and marginally thereafter. Median PF scores were 70, 95 and 100 at GW30, 12 weeks and one year postpartum, respectively. Corresponding median BP scores were 52, 84 and 84. We found significant interactions between each clinical variable and time (P ≤ 0.01) for PF and BP. The most afflicted women at GW30 experienced largest improvement. Despite high PGP prevalence one year postpartum, most women recovered in terms of PF and BP scores. Unfavourable clinical course postpartum did not appear to depend on self-reported PGP, pain locations in the pelvis, or response to clinical tests at GW30.

Keywords: Clinical tests; Low back pain; Lumbopelvic pain; Postpartum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / epidemiology*
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors