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Examining Low Back Pain after Pregnancy

Pain in the lower back or hips is one of the most common complaints of pregnancy. Unfortunately, for many women the pain doesn't go away after giving birth.

These researchers compared the way two groups of women lifted a box. All the women recently had babies. One group had back pain that began during pregnancy, and the other group had no back pain. Joint movements were tracked as all the women stood up, bent over, and picked up a box that weighed about 20 pounds. The researchers noted that the women with back pain made some movements more slowly. They also used different joints at different times to help them lift.

The results suggest two possible reasons for back pain after pregnancy. One possibility is from a strain in the muscles and tissues of the lower back that help with bending. The other possible reason is weakness in the supportive muscles that hold the lower spine stable. Identifying the cause could help refine exercises and therapy that work for pregnant women with back pain. Then these new mothers might actually be able to pick up their growing babies without feeling pain.


Dianne A. Commissaris, PhD, et al. Joint Coordination During Whole-Body Lifting in Women With Low Back Pain After Pregnancy. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. September 2002. Vol. 83. No. 9. Pp. 1279-1289.

10/22/2002

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