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Exercise programme helps pregnant women cope with back pain

Regular activity combined with nurse counselling reduces pain intensity

Regular activity combined with nurse counselling reduces pain intensity

Regular exercise and nurse counselling should be used to relieve lower back and pelvic pain in pregnant women, researchers suggest.

Picture credit: iStock

They studied 96 pregnant women between December 2011 and May 2012. Half were assigned to the intervention group, in which they received counselling from a nurse (three telephone calls per week) and a four-week exercise programme designed to relieve lower back and pelvic pain (LBPP). The rest received routine clinical care for pregnancy-related LBPP, including one telephone call a week from a nurse.

All participants measured the severity of LBPP at the end of each week for four weeks, and recorded their pain weekly. Participants in the intervention group kept a daily exercise diary.

The researchers found that those in the intervention group reported significantly lower pain intensity and better functional status than those in the control group. They said that pregnant women should be encouraged to exercise, and that specific exercise programmes should be designed to manage LBPP in pregnancy.

The authors said: ‘Exercise programmes used by pregnant women with LBPP can provide significant benefits, reducing the intensity of pain by increasing muscle strength, improving functional status and increasing quality of life.’

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