Are Pelvic Stabilizing Exercises Effective for Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain? A Literature Review

Asuka Sakamoto, Kazuyoshi Gamada

Abstract


The effectiveness of exercises to prevent or relieve postpartum pelvic girdle pain (PGP) has been investigated for decades. Although multiple treatment options are available, evidence supporting specific forms of intervention for PGP remains limited. Thus, the effectiveness of exercises and treatments for persistent postpartum PGP has not yet been established. The aim of this literature review was to clarify the effectiveness of exercises based on a review of randomized controlled trials including postpartum women with persistent PGP. We performed a broad search for eligible studies published before May 1, 2018 using the following electronic databases; PubMed, Medline, Pedro, Sage Journal, Google Scholar and the Cochrane Library. Comprehensive combinations of key words were utilized for these searches. Data were evaluated using a review process. The initial online search identified 184 potential studies and six of these studies met the specified criteria. All studies investigated the interventional effects of pelvic stabilizing exercises by assessing pain intensity, physical examination and disability questionnaires. In terms of effectiveness, a significant positive impact on pelvic pain intensity was reported as a result of stabilizing exercise programs for postpartum PGP. There were no adverse events reported in any of these studies. This review demonstrates the paucity of methodologically rigorous research to help healthcare practitioners make reliable decisions regarding the effectiveness of physical exercises for postpartum PGP. An individually tailored program with stabilizing exercises involving all relevant muscles delivered under the guidance of a therapist achieved high patient compliance and was shown to be effective for PGP.




J Clin Gynecol Obstet. 2019;8(2):33-38
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jcgo552

Keywords


Postpartum women; Pelvic girdle pain; Pelvic stabilizing exercises

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