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Physiother Res Int. 2018 Jan;23(1). doi: 10.1002/pri.1699. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

The effectiveness of stabilising exercises in pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and after delivery: A systematic review.

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Faculty of life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales, UK.
Private Physiotherapy Clinic, Lamia, Greece.
Physiotherapy Department, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.



Pelvic girdle pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder which affects women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. In previous years, physiotherapists have focused on managing pelvic girdle pain through stabilizing exercises.


The aim of this study was to systematically review studies investigating the effectiveness of the stabilizing exercises for pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and the postpartum period.


The following electronic databases were utilized to search for eligible studies: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and Cochrane Library. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were defined a priori. The quality assessment was performed by the two reviewers independently using the PEDro scale (Physiotherapy Evidence-based Database).


Six studies were identified as eligible with the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All studies evaluated the pain as an outcome measure. The evidence conflicted between the studies. Two studies showed that stabilizing exercises decrease pain and improve the quality of life for pregnant women when they are carried out on a regular basis. There is some limited evidence that stabilizing exercises decrease pain for postpartum women too.


In summary, there is limited evidence for the clinician to conclude on the effectiveness of stabilizing exercises in treating pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and the postpartum periods.


pelvic pain; physiotherapy; postpartum; symphysis pubis dysfunction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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