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Low-back Pain in Pregnancy

FAST, AVITAL, MD*; SHAPIRO, DANIEL, MD*; DUCOMMUN, EDMOND J., MD*; FRIEDMANN, LAWRENCE W., MD*; BOUKLAS, THALIA, BS, MS; FLOMAN, YIZHAR, MD

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Two hundred women were interviewed within 24–36 hours after giving birth. The patients were not examined. It was found that 56% of the patients suffered from low-back pain during pregnancy. The percentage of Caucasians was statistically higher in the back pain group. The percentage of Hispanics was statistically higher in the no pain group. Among the variables that were compared in both groups were the age, the weight gained by the mothers during pregnancy, the baby's weight, the number of previous pregnancies, number of prior children. None of the variables reached a statistically significant level. The pain group complained of pain in the low-back area, which radiated in 45.5% of cases to the lower extremities. In about one-third of the patients the pain increased as the day wore on, whereas in another one-third the pain increased during the night and disturbed sleep. Standing, sitting, forward bending, lifting, and walking tended to increase the pain. Most of the patients started suffering from back pain between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy. Several theories to explain the occurrence of backache during pregnancy are discussed.

*From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Nassau County Medical Center, East Meadow, New York

†From the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York

‡From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.