Influence of Type 1 Diabetes on the Postural Control of Women in the Third Gestational Trimester

Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2020 Jul;77:105062. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2020.105062. Epub 2020 May 28.


Background: Diabetes can cause biomechanical alterations that may be responsible for additional changes to those existing in a regular gestational period. The way a maternal body responds when affected by diabetes has not been clearly understood. This study aimed to describe the influence of type 1 diabetes on pregnant women's postural control.

Methods: Forty pregnant women in their third gestational trimester were allocated in two equal groups - the control group and the type 1 diabetic group. The variables related to postural control and balance were assessed using photogrammetry (head protrusion; cervical lordosis; thoracic kyphosis; lumbar lordosis; pelvic anteversion, knee flexion, tibiotarsal and foot inclination angles were measured), and baropodometry (anteroposterior and mediolateral distance trajectory of the center of pressure, amplitude and average speed of displacement of the center of pressure).

Findings: The results of the type 1 diabetic group showed, in the postural analysis, lower head protrusion and pelvic anteversion angles, while there was higher cervical lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and lumbar lordosis angles. In the baropodometry, the anteroposterior distance and the amplitude of the center of pressure displacement with eyes open and closed were higher.

Interpretation: The findings suggest that type 1 diabetes mellitus in the third trimester of pregnancy is associated with postural changes, a decrease in the active ankle range of motion and increase in the anteroposterior oscillation of the center of pressure, with negative repercussions for postural control.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Postural balance; Pregnancy; Range of motion.