Prevalence of Low Back Pain, Pelvic Girdle Pain, and Combination Pain in a Pregnant Ontario Population

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2018 Aug;40(8):1038-1043. doi: 10.1016/j.jogc.2017.10.032.


Objective: The purpose of the current pilot study is to determine the point and period prevalence of site-specific back pain, low back pain (LBP), pelvic girdle pain (PGP), and combined pain (Combo Pain) in pregnant women at a large urban centre in Ontario.

Methods: Point and period prevalence for LBP, PGP, and Combo Pain were determined using a questionnaire and accompanying pain diagram. Women were included in the study if they were healthy, of child-bearing age (18-45 years), currently experiencing a singleton pregnancy (any trimester), and proficient in the English language.

Results: Data collected from 287 women were included in the analysis. Three-quarters of women suffered from some sort of pregnancy-related back pain. The point and period prevalences for women who were experiencing LBP, PGP, and Combo Pain were 15.7%, 17.8%, and 15.3% and 33.4%, 27.9%, and 30.7%, respectively. Secondary analyses demonstrated that increasing GA and suffering from both pains at some point prior to pregnancy (Prior Both) increased the risk of experiencing PGP and Combo Pain during pregnancy, respectively.

Conclusion: The current study demonstrates that 76% of sampled women experienced pregnancy-related back pain and the prevalence of site-specific pain (LBP, PGP, and Combo Pain) increases with increased gestation. Risk factors include advanced GA and experiencing both types of pain prior to pregnancy (Prior Both). Furthermore, it is suggested that a standard definition of pain by location should be developed and employed so that future studies can elucidate appropriate prevention strategies and treatment options for each.

Keywords: Pregnancy-related back pain; prevalence; risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires