Objectives: The objectives of this scoping review were (1) to document and quantify the potential associations between lumbopelvic pain characteristics and pregnancy-related hormones, and (2) to identify research approaches and assessment tools used to investigate lumbopelvic pain characteristics and pregnancy-related hormones.
Methods: The literature search was conducted in 6 databases (MEDLINE, Academic Search Complete, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, SportDiscus, PsycINFO, and Cochrane) from inception up to March 2020 and completed using search terms relevant to pregnant women, pregnancy-related hormones, and lumbopelvic pain. The risk of bias was assessed using the characteristics recommended by Guyatt et al. for observational studies.
Results: The search yielded 1015 publications from which 9 met the inclusion criteria. Relaxin was the most studied pregnancy-related hormone. An association between relaxin levels and lumbopelvic pain presence or severity was found in 4 studies, while 5 studies did not report an association between them. One study reported an association between relaxin and lumbopelvic pain presence or severity while 2 studies reported no association and were considered as having a low risk of bias. One study reported measures of estrogen and progesterone levels. It showed that progesterone levels were found to be significantly higher in pregnant women with lumbopelvic pain compared to those without, while estrogen concentrations were similar in both groups.
Conclusion: The literature showed conflicting evidence regarding the association between pregnancy-related hormones and lumbopelvic pain characteristics in pregnant women. The assessment tools used to investigate lumbopelvic pain characteristics and pregnancy-related hormones are heterogeneous across studies. Based on limited and conflicting evidence, and due to the heterogeneity of assessment tools and overall poor quality of the literature, the association between pregnancy-related hormones and lumbopelvic pain characteristics is unclear.
Keywords: Estrogen; Low Back Pain; Pelvic Girdle Pain; Pregnancy; Progesterone; Relaxin.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.