Pregnancy and pelvic girdle pain: Analysis of pelvic belt on pain

J Clin Nurs. 2018 Jan;27(1-2):e129-e137. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13888. Epub 2017 Nov 3.


Aims and objectives: To analyse pain and functional capacity in women with pelvic girdle pain and to evaluate the effect of pelvic belt on these parameters. Two types of belts were to compare.

Background: Pelvic girdle pain is very common during pregnancy. To prevent and relieve pelvic pain, women can use a set of techniques and tools such as a pelvic belt. While scientific evidence is lacking, commercial industries suggest the effectiveness of pelvic belts.

Design: Randomised control trial.

Methods: Forty-six pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain were evaluated. Pain analysis included a quantitative and a qualitative assessment. A daily activities questionnaire was used for functional capacity evaluation. Women were tested at two times during the pregnancy for a longitudinal evaluation, and they used one of the two belt models during their pregnancy.

Results: Pelvic pain started between the 14th-21st week of pregnancy. Pain intensity was 60 ± 20 mm. Daily activities could increase pain. The use of belts reduced pain. The intensity of pain decreased by 20 mm on a visual analogue scale. The daily activities were also easier. However, all these conclusions are valid only if pregnant women used belts regularly on short periods.

Conclusions: The belts appear to be interesting tools to reduce pelvic pain and improve comfort of pregnant women. This effect might be explained by an analgesic effect with proprioceptive and biomechanical effect. The different types of belts could have differential effects on global, sacroiliac joint and back pain during pregnancy, but this hypothesis requires confirmation.

Relevance to clinical practice: Relevant for patient: to use an easy and validated tool. Relevant for clinical practice: to suggest a tool scientifically validated for patient. Relevant to economic issues: belts decrease pelvic pain and increase comfort of pregnant women. Sick leave could decrease.

Keywords: pelvic belt; pelvic girdle pain; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / prevention & control
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Qualitative Research