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Womens Health (Lond). 2013 Jan;9(1):99-108. doi: 10.2217/whe.12.59.

Static and dynamic biomechanical adaptations of the lower limbs and gait pattern changes during pregnancy.

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Departamento de Fisioterapia, Fonoaudiologia e Terapia Ocupacional, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua Cipotânia, 51 Cidade Universitária, 05360-160 São Paulo, Brazil.


The purpose of this literature review is to evaluate the studies that have investigated static and dynamic biomechanical changes of the lower limbs and gait patterns during pregnancy. Original articles on this subject, published between 1934 and 2012, were considered. In general, pregnant women demonstrated greater hip flexion, more extended knees and less plantar flexion ankles. These changes could explain the gait patterns of pregnant women characterized by increased hip angles, decreased propulsion forces associated with increased durations of stance phase and changes in distributions of the plantar loads with increased loads in the forefoot and decreased ones in the rearfoot. This can lead to arthrokinematic deviations that, with time, contribute to the development of musculoskeletal discomfort. In summary, these findings showed the importance of further longitudinal studies to investigate the relationships between musculoskeletal discomfort in pregnant women in the lower limbs and gait changes observed throughout this period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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