Specific muscle stabilizing as home exercises for persistent pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy: A randomized, controlled clinical trial
Annelie Gutke, Jenny Sjödahl, Birgitta Öberg
Objective: To investigate the efficacy of home-based specific stabilizing exercises focusing on the local stabilizing muscles as the only intervention in the treatment of persistent postpartum pelvic girdle pain.
Design: A prospective, randomized, single-blinded, clinically controlled study.
Subjects: Eighty-eight women with pelvic girdle pain were recruited 3 months after delivery.
Methods: The treatment consisted of specific stabilizing exercises targeting the local trunk muscles. The reference group had a single telephone contact with a physiotherapist. Primary outcome was disability measured with Oswestry Disability Index. Secondary outcomes were pain, health-related quality of life (EQ-5D), symptom satisfaction, and muscle function.
Results: No significant differences between groups could be found at 3- or 6-month follow-up regarding primary outcome in disability. Within-group comparisons showed some improvement in both groups in terms of disability, pain, symptom satisfaction and muscle function compared with baseline, although the majority still experienced pelvic
Conclusion: Treatment with this home-training concept of specific stabilizing exercises targeting the local muscles was no more effective in improving consequences of persistent postpartum pelvic girdle pain than the clinically natural course. Regardless of whether treatment with specific stabilizing exercises was carried out, the majority of women still experienced some back pain almost one year after pregnancy.