Back and Pelvic Pain in PregnancyPregnant and having back or pelvic pain? You're not alone. One third of all women have back or pelvic pain in the last two months of pregnancy. The cause of this pain remains unknown, but physical therapists are studying the problem.
Back pain and pelvic pain used to be thought of as one problem. In the last 20 years, it's been recognized that these are probably two separate conditions. Treatment is based on the actual cause, so this distinction is important.
Pelvic pain is four times as common as low back pain. There are three joints in the pelvic area. More problems occur when all three joints are involved. Women who have this type of pain can lose the ability to do routine activities. This kind of disability takes longer to overcome after delivery. Women with only one painful pelvic joint seem to recover more quickly.
Therapists in Denmark have found a way to use the patient's history and physical exam to classify back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. This will help researchers report their findings in the same way. Common results will lead to more specific treatment. This is important because back and pelvic pain are two different conditions in these patients.
Hanne B. Albert, PT, MPH, et al. Incidence of Four Syndromes of Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Joint Pain. In Spine. December 15, 2002. Vol. 27. No. 24. Pp. 2831-2834.
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