Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Pain and Associated Factors with Low Back Pain during Pregnancy

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University Of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran , Iran.


Introduction: Female body is affected by hormonal and anatomical changes during pregnancy. Most of changes may cause musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other painful conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of musculoskeletal pain during the pregnancy.
Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 235 pregnant women were selected by convenience sampling method from women who referred to health centers, clinics and private offices in May and June 2011. A standardized questionnaire with 100 questions used to assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (especially low back pain) and its associated factors such as age, body mass index, gestational age, conditions make pain better or worse, type of previous delivery, number of children, history of sports, job satisfaction, job status and quality of life were studied. Data were analyzed by logistic regression.
Results: Among the musculoskeletal pain conditions, low back pain with a prevalence of 58.2% (121 cases) was the most common musculoskeletal pain in pregnant women. Among the risk factors of low back pain, job satisfaction, body mass index, job status, quality of life and history of previous low back pain were significantly associated with low back pain in pregnancy (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, especially low back pain is high in pregnant women, but educating before and during pregnancy can reduce the severity of these problems. Due to the significant correlation between mentioned factors and low back pain, it seems doing controlled and randomized controlled trails is necessary to evaluate the impact of these factors.