Content » Vol 50, Issue 10

Original report

Effects of exercises with a pelvic realignment device on low-back and pelvic girdle pain after childbirth: A randomized control study

Asuka Sakamoto, Hiroshi Nakagawa, Hitoshi Nakagawa, Kazuyoshi Gamada
Graduated school of Medical Technology and Health Welfare Sciences, Hiroshima International University, Japan

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2487

Abstract

Background: To determine the effects of a pelvic realignment device-aided exercise programme after childbirth. Postpartum low-back pain and pelvic girdle pain often occur due to pregnancy and childbirth. Pelvic stabilization exercises are considered effective for reducing these symptoms. However, such exercise might be more effective if the sacro-iliac joints were held in optimal conformity. There is no published evidence regarding the use of a pelvic realignment device during stabilization exercises.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial involved 2 interventions and a control group. Pregnant women were allocated randomly to: (i) exercises with a pelvic realignment device (group R, n = 25); (ii) stabilization exercise (group E, n = 25); or (3) a control group (group C, n = 25). Pain intensity (visual analogue scale) and limitations in activities of daily living (pelvic girdle questionnaire) were measured 11 times during the 3-month period after delivery. A Kruskal–Wallis test was used for statistical analyses.
Results: Seventy-five pregnant women (mean age 31.2 years) participated in the study. At 13 weeks after delivery the pelvic girdle questionnaire score in both groups and visual analogue scale score in group R had decreased significantly. However, group E did not present with pain reduction at 13 weeks (p = 0.058). No significant differences were found between groups R and E (p = 0.66). The immediate and short-term effects of exercise with a pelvic realignment device showed greater improvements compared with pelvic stabilization exercises alone.
Conclusion: Standing exercises with a pelvic realignment device had immediate and short-term effects on improvement in pain within 4 weeks after delivery. The realignment device may be useful for reducing mechanical stress during exercises for postpartum low-back and pelvic girdle pain.

Lay Abstract

After childbirth, more than 30% of women have pain in the back of the pelvis. Pelvic stabilization exercises are recommended to reduce pain and improve functioning. The aim of this study was to determine whether use of a pelvic realignment device during standing exercises can further improve pelvic pain after childbirth. We hypothesized that the device would improve pain reduction within 4 weeks after delivery compared with exercise alone. This study measured 75 women from day 1 to 12 months after childbirth. The women were divided into 3 groups: (i) 25 performed pelvic stabilization exercises with the pelvic realignment device; (ii) 25 performed pelvic stabilization exercises alone; and (iii) a control group of 25 performed no pelvic exercise. Exercises with the pelvic realignment device had immediate and short-term effects on improvement in pain within 4 weeks. Therefore, a pelvic exercise programme with pelvic realignment device is recommended for reducing pelvic girdle pain after childbirth.

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