Effect of Core Stabilization Exercises on Pain, Functional Disability, and Quality of Life in Pregnant Women With Lumbar and Pelvic Girdle Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2023 Jan;46(1):27-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2023.05.005. Epub 2023 Jul 7.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of adding core stability to usual care for pregnant women with lumbar and pelvic girdle (LPG) pain.

Methods: This was a repeated-measures design randomized controlled trial with blinded outcome assessors. Thirty-five pregnant women with LPG pain were recruited from prenatal health care providers. They were allocated to 2 study groups to receive either usual prenatal care (control group, n = 17) or usual care with core stability exercises focusing on the pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominal muscles (exercise group, n = 18) for 10 weeks. The visual analog scale, score on the Oswestry Disability Index, and the World Health Organization's Quality of Life Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF) were evaluated with analysis of variance at pre-intervention, post-intervention, at the end of pregnancy, and 6 weeks after childbirth.

Results: There was a statistically significant interaction of group and time for all outcome measures except for the Social category (P = .18) in the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. The analysis of the group within time showed that mean scores in the exercise group were substantially improved at the post-intervention, end of pregnancy, and 6-week follow-up evaluation, except in the Environment category (end of pregnancy: P = .36; 6-week follow-up: P = .75) in the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that the addition of core stability exercises was more effective than the usual care alone in pain relief, improving disability, and quality of life of pregnant women with LPG pain.

Keywords: Lumbo-pelvic Pain; Pregnancy; Quality of Life; Stabilization Exercises.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Quality of Life

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/IRCT20181007041265N1