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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Jun;113(3):187-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.10.030. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Specific exercises to treat pregnancy-related low back pain in a South African population.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.



To investigate the effect of an exercise program, including specific stabilizing exercises, on pain intensity and functional ability in women with pregnancy-related low back pain.


Fifty women between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy were recruited at Tygerberg and Paarl Hospitals, Western Cape, South Africa. Twenty-six women were randomized to a 10-week exercise program and 24 were randomized as controls.


Overall, the most frequent type of back pain experienced was lumbar pain (36 [72.0%]). Pain intensity (P=0.76) and functional ability (P=0.29) were comparable between the groups on study entry. In the study group, there was a significant improvement in pain intensity (P<0.01) and an improvement in functional ability (P=0.06) at the end of the study. In the control group, there were no significant changes in pain intensity (P=0.89) or functional ability (P=0.70) at the end of the study.


A specific exercise program decreased back pain intensity and increased functional ability during pregnancy in South African women with lumbar and pelvic girdle pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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