Date of Graduation
School of Medicine
Jean L. McCrory
Nearly 50% of women experience back pain and other lower extremity pain during pregnancy, with many reporting lasting pain postpartum. Pregnant women experience changes to their pelvis and lower extremities that do not always return to pre-pregnancy baseline. Not much is known of the lingering effects of pregnancy related asymmetry and its relationship to pain. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess asymmetries of the pelvis and lower extremities to determine whether malalignment is related to areas of pain at the low back, hip, thigh, knee, leg, and foot/ankle. Methods: Seventeen postpartum women and seven nulliparous controls were recruited to participate. Postpartum women were placed in a ‘no pain’ and ‘pain” group based on a Visual Analog Scale pain questionnaire. Biomechanical measurements were taken bilaterally for: leg length, foot width, foot length, arch drop, arch index, arch height index, arch rigidity index, rearfoot angle, dynamic knee valgus, and hip muscular strength. Measurements of hypermobility and flexibility were taken using Beighton’s scale and Sit and Reach test. Results/Conclusion: Several relationships exist between pelvic and lower extremity asymmetry and pain in postpartum women. We identified multiple areas of asymmetry at the hip, knee, and foot that were correlated to pain. This information may be helpful to clinicians and the treatment of asymmetries during pregnancy to prevent pain postpartum. With the high prevalence of pain that still remains postpartum, further research is necessary. A larger sample size is needed to validate the trends found in this study regarding asymmetry and pain.
Meder, Krista G., "The Effect of Asymmetry on Pregnancy-Related Pain in the Postpartum Period" (2018). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3729.