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Low Back Pain and Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Prevalence and Risk Factors

Mogren, Ingrid M., MD, PhD*; Pohjanen, Anna I., MD

doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000158957.42198.8e
Health Services Research
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Study Design. Cross-sectional study. Women giving birth at one of two hospitals of northern Sweden from 1 January 2002 until 30 April 2002 were invited to fill in a questionnaire on their obstetric and gynecological history, actual pregnancy, and delivery.

Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate prevalence and risk factors for low back pain and pelvic pain (LBPP) during pregnancy.

Summary of Background Data. Although low back pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy is a most common complication of pregnancy, its etiology is unknown and the pathophysiology is poorly understood.

Methods. The sample was analyzed by calculating the prevalence of LBPP during pregnancy. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence intervals (CI) where applicable. Parametric and nonparametric testing was used to establish differences between groups.

Results. The response rate was 83.2% (N = 891). The prevalence of LBPP during pregnancy was 72%. Most cases reported both anterior and posterior pain. Increasing parity, history of hypermobility, and reported periods of amenorrhea were risk factors for LBPP. Women with LBPP had significantly higher prepregnancy weight, end-pregnancy weight, and prepregnancy and end-pregnancy body mass index. Age at menarche and use of oral contraceptives were not associated with LBPP. Nonrespondents were of the same age and parity as respondents.

Conclusions. A majority of pregnant women report LBPP. Parity, LBPP during a previous pregnancy, body mass index, a history of hypermobility, and amenorrhea are factors influencing the risk of developing LBPP during pregnancy.

A majority of pregnant women report low back pain and pelvic pain (LBPP) during pregnancy. Parity, LBPP during a previous pregnancy, body mass index, a history of hypermobility, and amenorrhea are factors influencing the risk of developing LBPP during pregnancy.

From the *Department of Clinical Science, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Umeå University, and Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; and †Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sunderby Hospital, Sunderby, Sweden.

Acknowledgment date: March 29, 2004. First revision date: April 28, 2004. Second revision date: July 24, 2004. Acceptance date: July 28, 2004.

Supported by grants from the County Council of Västerbotten, the Joint Committee of the Northern Sweden Health Care Region, and the Medical Faculty, Umeå University.

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

Institutional funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ingrid Mogren, MD, PhD, Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail: ingrid.mogren@obgyn.umu.se

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.