Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: Prevalence, persistence, risk factors and management implications
Journal: British Journal of Midwifery
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)/Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain (PLPP) is a common condition with a prevalence range of 14-85% (Larsen et al, 1999; Orlikowski et al, 2006). In the literature, a number of terms and definitions have been employed by professionals from different countries to describe this condition. Women report a wide range of symptoms and there is a requirement for a careful assessment. The goal of this paper has been to raise awareness of the pain and activity limitations reported by some women during pregnancy and postpartum. The clinical presentation and women's experiences are described. The risk factors predisposing women to SPD/PLPP both during pregnancy and postpartum are presented. There is a requirement to meet the expectations of women with SPD/PLPP. Women need to be assessed, be able to tell their story, have the condition explained, and be involved in the management of their symptoms and activity limitations. Midwives play a key role in assessing for SPD/PLPP, so this paper proposes a five-step plan to guide midwives and doctors in the management of this condition.