Low Back Pain and Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Pregnancy has a profound effect on the human body, particularly the musculoskeletal system. Hormonal changes cause ligamentous joint laxity, weight gain, and a shift in the center of gravity that leads to lumbar spine hyperlordosis and anterior tilting of the pelvis. In addition, vascular changes may lead to compromised metabolic supply in the low back. The most common musculoskeletal complaints in pregnancy are low back pain and/or pelvic girdle pain. They can be diagnosed and differentiated from each other by history taking, clinical examination, provocative test maneuvers, and imaging. Management ranges from conservative and pharmacologic measures to surgical treatment. Depending on the situation, and given the unique challenges pregnancy places on the human body and the special consideration that must be given to the fetus, an orthopaedic surgeon and the obstetrician may have to develop a plan of care together regarding labor and delivery or when surgical interventions are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 26 2015


  • Low back pain
  • lumbopelvic pain
  • pelvic girdle pain
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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