Evaluation of the efficacy of an exercise program for pregnant women with low back and pelvic pain: a prospective randomized controlled trial

J Adv Nurs. 2015 Aug;71(8):1926-39. doi: 10.1111/jan.12659. Epub 2015 Mar 31.


Aim: To evaluate the effect of exercise programs on pregnant women with pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain.

Background: Low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy is a major health problem due to its frequent occurrence and such pain can limit pregnant women in many of their daily activities.

Design: A randomized trial with a control group (n = 48) and an intervention group (n = 48). Trial registration number NCT02189356.

Methods: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, between December 2011-May 2012, an Education and Research Hospital in Turkey. Based on the intention-to-treat principle, all pregnant women were analysed according to the group they were assigned to, regardless of whether they received the intervention or not. Participants in the intervention group received health counselling and exercised regarding low back and pelvic pain for four weeks. The pregnant women in the control group received usual care, comprised of routine clinical practice for pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain.

Results: According to Mann-Whitney U test analysis results, there was a statistically significant difference between the control and intervention groups' Visual Analogue Scale during relaxation scores and Visual Analogue Scale during activity scores at the end of the study. According to Mann-Whitney U test analysis results, the change in the mean Oswestry Disability Index score for the intervention group and the difference in the mean scores between the two groups was statistically significant.

Conclusions: A four-week exercise program including individualized health counselling to relieve low back and pelvic pain improved the functional status in pregnant women.

Keywords: exercise program; nurse; pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / complications
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pelvic Pain / complications
  • Pelvic Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Prospective Studies

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02189356