As pregnancy progresses, back and pelvic pain can interfere with daily activities such as carrying groceries, cleaning and walking, and can disrupt work or sleep also. More than two-thirds of pregnant women experience back pain and almost one-fifth report pelvic pain.

Women who participated in a variety of intervention programs recognized relief of back and pelvic pain, said Victoria Pennick, M.H.Sc., senior clinical research project manager at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. The review looked at eight studies that examined the effect of adding pregnancy-specific strengthening exercises, water exercises, acupuncture and other pain-relief interventions to regular prenatal care.

The review authors found that women who participated in prenatal exercise programs reported significant decreases in back pain compared to women who received the usual prenatal care. The intervention programs taught moms-to-be movements to stretch the pelvic muscles, strengthen the abdominal and hamstring muscles and increase spinal flexibility. On average, women who followed through with the pelvic or back pain interventions experienced some pain relief and reported less need for pain medication, physical therapy and posture-support belts.

Nevertheless, the scientists urged caution to women considering interventions to reduce back or pelvic pain during pregnancy, especially those that they didn’t use before conception. “For example, if you’ve never had acupuncture, it may not be the intervention of choice for you. It’s really important to talk it over with your own primary care provider and decide together what’s right for you,” Pennick said.

MEDICA.de; Source: Health Behavior News Service