To treat or not to treat postpartum pelvic girdle pain with stabilizing exercises?

Britt Stuge, Inger Holm and Nina Vøllestad

Women with pelvic girdle pain (PGP) often consult physical therapists for help and are treated with different therapies without firm evidence for the effectiveness. Two randomized controlled trials have investigated the effect of stabilizing exercises for PGP. The most recent study demonstrated significant positive results in favour of exercises (Stuge et al. The efficacy of a treatment program focusing on specific stabilizing exercises for pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy. A randomized controlled trial. Spine 2004a;29(10):351–9), the other did not (Mens et al. Diagonal trunk muscle exercises in peripartum pelvic pain: a randomized clinical trial. Phys. Ther. 2000;80(12):1164–73). Consequently, the two studies provide contradictory advice for treatment of PGP. The question is thus, whether stabilizing exercises should be recommended as treatment for PGP.  This comparison indicates that effective treatment of postpartum PGP may be achieved when exercises for the entire spinal musculature are included, individually guided and adapted to each individual.

Manual Therapy, Volume 11, Issue 4, November 2006, Pages 337-343

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