Study design: This study analyzed an education and training program concerning back and pelvic problems among pregnant women.
Objective: The program was aimed at reducing back and pelvic posterior pain during pregnancy.
Summary of background data: Low back and posterior pelvic pain accounts for the majority of sick leave among pregnant women. No previous study has suggested any type of solution to this problem.
Methods: Four hundred and seven consecutive pregnant women were included in the study and randomly assigned into three groups. Group A served as controls while different degrees of interventions were made in groups B and C.
Results: Serious back or posterior pelvic pain developed in 47% of all women. Pain-related problems were reduced in groups B and C (P < 0.05), and sick-leave frequency was reduced in group C (P < 0.01). For some of the women in this group, pain intensity was also reduced 8 weeks post partum (P < 0.05). Weekly physical exercise before pregnancy reduced the risk for back pain problems in pregnancy (P < 0.05). A non-elastic sacro-iliac belt offered some pain relief to 82% of the women with posterior pelvic pain.
Conclusions: An individually designed program reduced sick leave during pregnancy. Working with groups was less effective. Differentiation between low back and posterior pelvic pain was essential. Good physical fitness reduced the risk of back pain in a subsequent pregnancy. Reduction of posterior pelvic pain by a non-elastic pelvic support was experienced by 82% of the women with posterior pelvic pain.